Canterbury and Holcombe reached the finals of the Maxinutrition 5s Men’s Championship at Wembley Arena but Sevenoaks narrowly missed out
Canterbury and Holcombe reached the finals of the Maxinutrition 5s Men’s Championship at Wembley Arena after securing top-four spots in the indoor Premier Division at St George’s Park on Sunday.
The two sides shared a dramatic 5-5 draw in their opening game of the weekend at Burton on Saturday.
Martin Robbins, Richard Lane and Gareth Andrew gave Holcs a 3-0 lead before half-time and though Mickel Pierre and Hardeep Jawanda reduced the arrears, Dan Coultas made it 4-2.
Liam Foster and Ben Allberry brought the city club level, and though Andrew made it 5-4 after 31 minutes, Jawanda snatched a last-gasp leveller.
They took the momentum into their second game as Allberry scored seven goals to inspire a 12-4 win over Bowdon.
Jawanda got two and Foster, Kwan Browne and Ali Bray were also on target, though they slipped to a 9-6 defeat to Sevenoaks in their penultimate game.
George Torry struck five times for Oaks with Nick Barker, Ben Payne (2) and Owain Dolan Gray also on target.
Browne got two for the city club while Jawanda, Pierre, Allberry and Foster also netted.
The result left Canterbury having to beat Beeston in a play-off decider in their final game on Sunday to progress, but Jawanda fired four and Allberry a hat-trick as they ran-out 13-6 winners.
After the draw with Canterbury, Holcombe bounced-back with a 10-2 win over Loughborough Students thanks to a hat-trick from David Appleton, two each from Robbins, Andrew and Richard Lane and a single from Stephane Vehrle-Smith.
Holcs tried to rally but went down 10-5 against Reading on Sunday, having trailed 6-0 at the break.
Coultas, Robert Field, Vehrle-Smith, Michael Hughes and Lane completed their haul.
Skipper Lane then led from the front with a hat-trick as they secured a semi-final spot by virtue of goal-difference, following a 5-4 win over Doncaster.
Coultas and a Gareth Andrew double secured Holcs’ passage to Wembley, with Sevenoaks the team edged-out, despite finishing level on points with the Medway side and only two behind third-placed Canterbury.
Perennial big-guns Reading and East Grinstead qualified as the top-two and Ben Payne and Chris Barker got two apiece for Oaks in a 10-6 defeat to Reading, with Nick Barker and Torry also on target.
Torry also got two and Nick Barker and Richard Payne the others as they lost 8-4 to eventual table-toppers East Grinstead.
Player-coach Jen Wilson fired a hat-trick to help Canterbury Ladies secure their place in the semi-finals in a must-win final game against East Grinstead on Sunday.
The city club made a blistering start, with Mel Clewlow, Nikki Lloyd and Nikki Kidd putting them 3-0 ahead inside 10 minutes.
EGs pulled one back but Kidd and two from Wilson made it 6-1, and though their opponents pulled three goals back, Wilson completed her hat-trick late-on.
Kidd struck four goals and Lloyd a hat-trick as the city club came from 2-1 down to see-off Leicester 7-3 in their first game on Sunday.
On Saturday Canterbury endured mixed fortunes as they lost 9-5 against eventual table-toppers Bowdon Hightown after a 4-4 draw against Reading.
Kidd fired another hat-trick against Bowdon, and Anna Baker scored two more, but it was Hightown who were victorious, with former Canterbury skipper Susannah Townsend adding their final goal.
Reading raced into a 3-0 lead inside six minutes against Cantebury, but goals from Grace Balsdon, Kidd and Clewlow gave the city club hope after a Reading fourth, and Kidd snatched a late leveller.
Slough and Reading join Canterbury and Bowdon in the semi-finals at Kettering on Saturday, with the men and women's finals taking place at Wembley Arena on February 2.
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