East Grinstead go unbeaten and lead march into semi finals

Maxinutrition 5s, East Grinstead, 450

EAST Grinstead secured top spot in the Premier Division of the Maxinutrition 5s Men’s Championship at St George’s Park in Burton on Sunday.

But they will be joined in the semi finals by three other strong teams who battled their way into the top four to book their places at Wembley - Reading, Canterbury and Holcombe.

A great team performance saw five different scorers hit the target for East Grinstead in a 5-2 win over Loughborough Students. Hotshot Mark Pearn showed his credentials in front of goal once again, scoring a hat-trick in the next game, a 6-2 win over Bowdon.

Reading finish second but had a difficult start to their day. They faced rock-bottom Doncaster but the South Yorkshire side proved to be no pushovers and it took goals from captain Richard Springham and Darren Cheesman to nick a 2-0 win.

Reading looked far more dominant in their second game as they survived a spirited comeback in the second half from Holcombe to win 10-5.

Canterbury booked their place in the semi-finals by finishing third. They lost 9-6 to Sevenoaks in their first game with George Torry in inspired form, hitting five goals to leave Canterbury needing a win in their final game against Beeston.

But Beeston also needed to win to secure their play-off spot and a hectic game ensued. Sam Ward looked to fire Beeston to victory with four goals but Canterbury were determined to outshoot their opponents with Ben Allberry grabbing a hat-trick and Hardeep Jawanda going one better with a personal haul of four. When the dust settled, the score was 13-6 to Canterbury.

With Beeston, Sevenoaks and Holcombe all gunning for the final play-off spot, it was Holcombe who finally clinched it on goal difference. They picked themselves up from their defeat to Reading and beat Doncaster 5-4. Captain Richard Lane led from the front with three goals.

Doncaster and Loughborough are relegated, with neither side managing to win a game.

Surbiton lead Division One after wins against Team Bath Buccaneers and Bournville, although there are still games to play.

The Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Finals will be played on 2 February 2014 at Wembley Arena. You can get more information and buy tickets at www.englandhockey.co.uk/maxi5s

Results from Sunday, January 5 2014:

Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Championship Men’s Premier Division: Canterbury 6, Sevenoaks 9; Reading 2, Doncaster 0; East Grinstead 5, Loughborough Students 2; Beeston 6, Canterbury 13; Holcombe 5, Reading 10; Bowdon 2, East Grinstead 6; Sevenoaks 7, Beeston 6; Doncaster 4, Holcombe 5; Loughborough Students 4, Bowdon 6.

Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Championship Men’s Division One: Surbiton 7, Team Bath Buccaneers 4; Brooklands 3, Cannock 3; Hampstead & Westminster 3, Southgate 4; Havant 4, Old Loughtonians 5; Bournville 2, Surbiton 9; Team Bath Buccaneers 7, Brooklands 6; Cannock 4, Hampstead & Westminster 5; Southgate 7, Havant 1; Old Loughtonians 5, Bournville 7.

Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Championship Men’s Division Two (North): Preston 6, Havering 5; Cheltenham 2, Sheffield Hallam 4; Harleston Magpies 9, Barford Tigers 5; Sheffield Hallam 6, Preston 2; Havering 3, Harleston Magpies 8; Barford Tigers 5, Cheltenham 7; Preston 2, Harleston Magpies 6; Sheffield Hallam 5, Cheltenham 3.

Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Championship Men’s Division Two (South): Wimbledon 8, St Albans 2; Indian Gymkhana 10, West Herts 12; Ashmoor 2, Chelmsford 3; West Herts 6, Wimbledon 12; St Albans 3, Ashmoor 4; Chelmsford 4, Indian Gymkhana 15; Wimbledon 11, Ashmoor 2; West Herts 8, Chelmsford 2; St Albans 4, Indian Gymkhana 7.