Canterbury lose Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Final at Wembley Arena to defending champions East Grinstead, who beat Holcombe in the last-four
Canterbury suffered disappointment in the final of the Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Final at Wembley Arena, going down 8-4 to East Grinstead who secured their sixth indoor title in a row.
The city club peppered the goal of EGs keeper Filip Neusser, who was named man-of-the-match, for long periods but were unable to overcome their ruthless opponents in a game televised live on Sky TV.
The opening goal came on the break as Mark Pearn gained possession in hiis own half and burst forward before feeding David Conlon to finish at the back post.
Canterbury piled forward, pinning the defending champions back and drawing a string of saves from Neusser, however after 10 minutes it was 2-0 when Simon Faulkner comverted a penalty corner.
It took three minutes for Kwan Browne to halve the deficit with Neusser off the field, but Mark Pearn made it 3-1 to EGs before Browne gave the city club hope with his second before the break.
The crucial sixth goal however went to the Sussex side, with Joe Naughalty netting shortly after the turnaround and although Ben Allberry pulled another back on 25 minutes, a three-goal blitz in a seven minute spell sealed Canterbury’s fate.
Ross Stott scored twice and Pearn added the other to make it 7-3 and with less than five minutes remaining Stott completed his hat-trick.
There was still time for Browne to do likewise with another classy penalty corner strike, but there was no time for a city club comeback.
The city club had booked their place in the final with a thrilling 9-8 win over Reading.
Canterbury opened their account in the first minute through Ali Bray, before Liam Foster doubled their lead on 10 minutes.
Reading replied through captain Richard Springham and Jonty Clarke and took a 3-2 lead through Tom Carson after 15 minutes.
The city club battled back and Michael Farrer and Browne gave them a 4-3 half-time lead.
The second half continued in the same vein with Carson equalising again before Bray restored Canterbury’s lead.
Goals from Reading’s Chris Newman and Richard Mantell and Mickell Pierre for Canterbury made it 6-6 before the decisive spell of the game saw Foster and Allberry open up a two-goal cushion with five minutes to play.
John Jackson brought Reading back within a goal but Hardeep Jawanda added a ninth and though Springham set up a tense finale, Canterbury held firm to progress to the final.
East Grinstead had reached the final after a 9-3 cruise against Holcombe.
A hat-trick from Stott gave them an early cushion and it was 6-0 at half-time through Adam Jordan, David Condon and Naughalty.
Holcs pulled one back through captain Richard Lane but further goals from Condon, Stott and Jordan made the game safe, though David Appleton and Michael Hughes added late consolations.
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