Fareham face Indian Gymkhana in the second phase of their relegation play-off at Henry Cort tomorrow SAT (1pm) knowing that either a draw or a win will guarantee National Hockey League status next season.
Finishing second from bottom in the Western Conference thrust Fareham into a do or die relegation trilogy against Cheshire side Oxton and old rivals Indian Gymkhana.
Oxton drew first blood in the triangular safety battle by beating Indian Gymkhana 4-3, but Fareham put themselves in the box seat in the three team play-off by winning 3-1 on the Wirral a fortnight ago.
“Now we must finish the job,” says stand-in coach Nigel Cook, who stepped down to allow Ben Barnes to take control three seasons ago.
Fareham are leaving nothing to chance and are ensuring their players get the best possible match preparation, even to the extent of the team staying in a Titchfield hotel tonight.
“What happens tomorrow dictates our future,” Cook emphasised.
“We’ve worked very hard to get where we are on the hockey map and remaining in the Western Conference is far from easy bearing in mind our geographical situation.
“There’s a lot of travelling involved and the commitment from the players is immense.”
Apart from Sash Thomas, who has returned to his native Australia, Fareham will be at full strength tomorrow with the return of drag flicker Danny Rawlings a significant boost.
It’s a must-win affair for Gymkhana, for whom veteran former Great Britain Olympic goalkeeper Simon Mason could be making his last appearance tomorrow.
Welcome to Vimps at the Hockey
Powered by Cricket-Hockey.com, the hockey equipment specialists in Downton, Salisbury