Shingles goal helps Southgate survive

Dan Shingles (pictured) scored the all-important goal as Southgate managed to grind out a 1-0 win over Bowdon that keeps them in the EHL Men’s Premier Division for another season.

Dan Shingles, 500

The top league saw lots of drama in the final day of the season as Southgate and University of Exeter battled to avoid relegation play offs.

Bowdon needed a victory as they travelled to Southgate looking to climb clear of the drop zone.  But Southgate also knew that only a win would do if they were to guarantee their place in the league next season.

University of Exeter knew they needed a win against sixth-placed Loughborough to stand any chance of staying up and they did all they could, running out 4-3 winners.

Tom Carson’s hat-trick ensured that they got the three points, although it all proved to be in vain with them now condemned to relegation play offs.

East Grinstead had already built up an unassailable lead going into their final game of the season and they stretched it even further with a 4-3 victory over Surbiton - Niall Stott with the winner in the 60th minute.

Beeston travelled to their game against Cannock with nothing but pride to play for having already finished second.

They looked to be walking away with a 2-1 win until Cannock’s David Harris poked home from a penalty corner in the 68th minute to tie the game and see his team finish fourth.

In the other game of the day, third placed Reading took on Hampstead and Westminster. This fixture got off to an explosive start when Rafael Lopez Jimenez scored in the first minute. Reading equalised through Huw Jones after 15 minutes and the game ended 2-2.

All matters of promotion and relegation in the EHL Men’s Conference East had already been settled but none of the teams were in a mood to take it easy with 35 goals being scored in the five games.

The pick of the bunch was top side Canterbury’s encounter with City of Peterborough. David Matthews scored a hat-trick and missed two penalty strokes in a 7-2 win.

In the EHL Men’s Conference North, Brooklands signed off in style with a 5-0 shutout of Preston. Stuart Stanway grabbed two goals in their last match before they go on to the promotion play offs.

Deeside Ramblers face automatic relegation after their loss to Sheffield Hallam. Ibrar Latif has scored 23 goals this season, with three of those coming today but his goals weren’t enough to prevent Sheffield winning 6-4.

Barford Tigers needed to win to ensure they went to relegation play offs rather than go down instantly and they managed to surprise Leek with a 3-2 score line.

Cheltenham cemented their place in the EHL Men’s Conference West, prevailing 2-1 over Havant. That means that Lichfield occupy the relegation play off spot and Bournville are relegated. Team Bath Buccaneers had already confirmed their status as top the league before their 3-3 draw with Whitchurch.