Back (from left): Ian Bassett, Richard Aves, Calum Crichton, Eddy Evans. Front: Sam Broadhurst, Toby Dudson, Steve Cole (goalkeeper), Sinoxolo Mbekeni, Ben Frost.
Trojans are through to next month’s England Hockey Super Sixes indoor Division 2 South tournament at Canterbury after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Milton Keynes in the Fleming Park regional qualifiers.
They came back from 3-1 down against the Buckinghamshire side to draw 4-4 – and then clinch their place in the net phase Kent competition with a 3-1 win on penalties.
Such a climax appeared improbable as Trojans strolled through their opening three group matches, beating Oxford Hawks 3-1 before thrashing both Marlow 5-1 and then Bexleyheath 6-0.
But an unexpected 2-0 defeat by Banbury sent jitters through the Trojans camp – and led to that uncertain start against Milton Keynes.
Two goals by tournament top scorer Ian Bassett and strikes by Eddy Evans and Ben Frost turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead against MK, who then grabbed a last gasp equaliser just as the final hooter was sounding.
Bassett, who scored eight goals in the Trojans games, coolly converted the key penalty to send Trojans through to Canterbury, alongside Hampstead & Westminster.
Trojans 3 (Mbekeni 2, Bassett) Oxford Hawks 1; Trojans 5 (Bassett 3, Frost 2) Marlow 1; Trojans 6 (Bassett 2, Frost 2, Crichton, Mbekeni) Bexleyheath 0; Trojans 0 Banbury 2; Trojans 4 (Bassett 2, Evans, Frost) Milton Keynes 4 (Trojans won 3-1 on penalty strokes).
Trojans ladies will also be in Super Sixes action over the weekend January 6/7 and go to Whitgift School for their South 2 fixtures.
Trojans ladies swept to a fifth straight win – and climbed to a highest yet fourth spot in South Women’s League Division 3B – with a 3-1 victory over Eastbourne at Stoneham lane.
Those five matches have yielded 20 goals, with table topping East Grinstead having been on the receiving end of a 5-0 thumping a week earlier. With 29 strikes, they are the second highest SWL goal scorers behind East Grinstead.
Southampton and Fareham both drew their final matches before the break.
Dutch ace Arlette Bloks bade here farewells in Southampton’s creditable goal-less stalemate at high riding Guildford, while Fareham came away from Lewes with a 1-1 draw to consolidate their mid-table standing.
Winchester's stuttering finish to the first half of the South Hockey League Premier Division 2 season continued with a 2-2 draw against second-to-bottom Ashford at Kings’.
Twice ahead, Winchester’s inability to capitalise on a concerted period of second half pressure cost them dear as they succumbed to a late sucker punch, writes John Player.
Results elsewhere, however, mean that, when the season resumes on January 14, third placed Winchester still have the future in their own hands as leaders Tulse Hill only managed a 1-1 draw at fourth placed West Hampstead.
But the difficulty that Winchester previously had in despatching bottom place Staines and now the Ashford draw shows that the games against the other top teams are only part of the story to come when play resumes next month.
An even start against Ashford swung Winchester's way in the tenth minute when Kent Langridge swept home from a left slip at a penalty corner.
Winchester had a slim majority of play through much of the remainder of the half with Rob Moore and Ben Hibberd both going close, but their passing lacked the precision that their league position reflected and too often they lost the ball and the initiative in needless situations.
Playing mainly on the break, Ashford hit back at the back end of the half from a penalty corner from former Barford Tiger, Shujah ur Rehman, whose drag-flick flew high into the net.
Shujah ur Rehman has hit the 50-goal mark twice in recent seasons and has already notched 17 this term.
The visitors were also fastest out of the traps after the break and goalkeeper Caelan Dillon made a great diving penalty corner save to deny Ashford after they had broken away rapidly from a penalty corner the other end.
However, apart from one moment where Winchester were fortunate to clear their lines after a panicked defensive episode, and another where they relied on a Kevin Boniface surgically accurate tackle to deny a clear opportunity, all the pressure now came from the home team.
After Will Phillips had hit the post at a penalty corner, Winchester finally broke through when Adam Tollefsen intercepted a poor clearance and fed Boniface in an unusually advanced position on the edge of the Winchester "D".
His pass into the danger area was sufficient to cause mayhem and Hibberd reacted instantly as the ball flew past him and deflected it over the keeper to take deserved lead.
In the next few minutes, Peter Symonds’ student Isaac Hocking sent a shot just past the far post and Ryan Croxon, the Ashford ‘keeper, made a fantastic double saves from Rob Moore and Harry Talks to keep the game alive.
Winchester were still throwing men forward looking for the killer punch, but they received the sucker punch instead as a rare Ashford attack resulted in penalty corner which after a series of deflections found its way past the prone Dillon with ace predator Shujah ur Rehman again the scorer.
Former Portsmouth Grammar School student Jadon Buckeridge was among the scorers as Oxford University blasted Lewes 7-1.
It’s been an autumn term of success for King Edward VI school, with both the girls and boys teams reaching the national stages of their respective junior age group competitions.
The girls Under-18 and Under-16 teams won county titles and now the boys have followed suit, qualifying for next month’s England Hockey Under-16 finals in Canterbury after reaching the South final.
After recovering a two-goal deficit in the first game to draw with Reeds School, KES comfortably beat St. George's (Weybridge), Abingdon and Seaford College to reach the semi-final. A 5-3 victory over Cranleigh took them into the final where they lost 4-3 to Whitgift School.
KES sports head Dan Kent said: “To finish second in the south is outstanding, but as a result they also qualify for the national finals where the top ten school teams across the country will compete for the national title.”
Fareham seconds hauled themselves out of the immediate Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 1 danger zone with a creditable 4-3 win over Basingstoke at Down Grange.
A Scott Rawlings brace, added to strikes by George Davey and Callum McInally, swept Fareham to a third successive victory.
Wimborne Wayfarers go into the month long winter break in second place behind London Academicals after winning 4-2 at Wanderers.
Two penalty corner conversions by Todd Clark – bringing his tally for the season to 13 – and goals by cricket pair Conor Moores and Simon Ridley gave Wayfarers their win.
Third placed Havant II lost ground after former Fareham hit-man Nic Cope bagged a hat-trick in Haslemere’s 4-2 win.
Romsey go into the four-week break still winless in Regional 2 after a 5-1 loss to city-based HAC – Danny Miles scoring the Abbeymen’s second half consolation goal.
Hamble chiselled an encouraging 2-2 draw with third placed London Edwardians, while Southampton won 3-2 at Addiscombe. Winchester II were beaten 4-1 at Sunbury & Walton Hawks.
Southampton University closed the gap at the top of the Hampshire League when their 4-3 win over Weymouth coincided with table topping Gillingham crashing 5-3 at Trojans.
Two points separate the lead pair.
Romsey sank deeper into the Hampshire/Surrey Regional Division 2 relegation mire when fellow strugglers Hamble beat them 2-1.
The Abbeymen go to city based HAC on Saturday still seeking a win from ten outings, three of which they have drawn.
Hamble, who recently ended a staggering run of 34 successive defeats, took a tenth minute lead when an effective left-side move between Dave Bolton and James Gover set up an opportunity for Harry Williams, who caught the Romsey keeper off guard with a shot which flew into the bottom corner.
When Bolton doubled Hamble’s lead from a swift Nick Williams inspired counter-attack, Romsey really were in trouble.
They managed to claw a goal back late on but were unable to save the day.
Trojans ended Winchester’s nine-match unbeaten start and knocked them off their top table South League Premier Division 2 perch with a slightly unexpected but nonetheless deserved 4-2 victory.
They scored twice in each half to win the Stoneham derby – the outcome enabling Tulse Hill & Dulwich to dislodge Winchester at the top.
Trojans seemed to have more passion on the day than Winchester, but they had to come behind from a trademark Ben Hibberd penalty corner drag flick before asserting their authority.
Young Caelen Dillon made two fine saves before being beaten when Dave McNee got the finest deflection to a screaming 30-yarder from Ben Cole which thudded against the backboard to put Trojans level.
Colin French went close and Dillon beat out a close range effort from Ben Frost, who then converted a short corner to give Trojans a deserved 2-1 interval lead.
The derby produced a good watch for a growing crowd as Trojans, maintaining discipline, put a fine move together for McNee to score again.
Back came Winchester from another Hibberd set piece, but the visitors’ prospects of launching a comeback were stifled when Mark Maunsell suffered a nasty head injury.
Play was halted for some 20 minutes before a concussed Maunsell was taken to hospital, where he had 12 stitches in an ugly wound on the side of his head.
All hope of a Winchester recovery effectively ended when Hibberd was sin-binned – the agony compounded when Cole chipped Trojans fourth goal to seal a 4-2 win.
Oxford University’s 3-2 defeat by Tulse Hill has put the South London club in pole position one match before the four-week mid-season break.
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