Brooklands MU secure promotion

Brooklands captain Pete Flanagan celebrates scoring his hat-trick and taking his team into the Premier Division at the NOW Pensions Men's Finals Weekend 2013-14 450

Southgate 1 (0)
Rick Gay 65 (PC)

Brooklands Manchester University 3 (1)
Peter Flanagan 13, 51, 69 (PC, PC, PC)

Brooklands MU secured their promotion to the top flight with a 3-1 over win over Southgate. The result sees both teams promoted to the NOW: Pensions Premier Division for the 2014/15 season.

Brooklands came into the game knowing that a draw would be enough to see them go up, and playing a team that had already booked their spot yesterday. And Brooklands came out the stronger side, keeping hold of the ball and creating the better chances. When they won their first penalty corner of the match, Peter Flanagan stepped up to drag-flick a shot low and wide of Chris Hibbert to make the score 1-2. Throughout the half, Aidan Khares and David Flanagan caused problems for the Southgate defence, again putting pressure on high up the pitch.

It was not all one-way traffic though, with Southgate keeping Chris Scott on his toes in the Brooklands goal, drawing some fine saves from the 'keeper. And early in the second half, Scott denied Rick Gay from a penalty corner.

But it was Brooklands who got on the scoresheet next through another Peter Flanagan penalty corner for a 2-0 lead. Rick Gay brought Southgate back into the game with a penalty corner, but Flanagan completed a hat-trick with a final penalty corner to take the score to 3-1.

Speaking after the game player/coach Chris Hibbert said, “I’ve been very pleased with the tournament. We probably didn’t play the best hockey in the three games as we did over the course of the league season. We were disappointed with some of the passages of play we put together today and on the whole we could have done a little bit better, but it is mentally tough to get motivated for a game after knowing we’ve already been promoted and it obviously was a huge game for Brooklands, so credit to them for the way they played.”

Hibbert added, "Having been at Southgate for 10 seasons it's now the third time I’ve been back up to the premier division with the club. This season has certainly been a massive high to get back up again in my final year. I've been so lucky to play with some fantastic players and coaches and it's been a brilliant experience.”

Sheffield Hallam 2 (2)
David Goodfield 18 (FG)
David Bond 29 (FG)

Cardiff and Met 5 (2)
Luke Hawker 13, 32 (FG, FG)
Mark Whatling 43, 60 (PS, PS)
Rupert Shipperley 65 (FG)

Cardiff and Met held most of the possession in the opening of the match so it came as no surprise when they scored the first goal. An initial strike from Daf Tomos was blocked but teammate Luke Hawker picked up the ball and slotted a reverse stick strike over the keeper giving them a 1-0 lead over Sheffield Hallam. Similar scenes were seen minutes later at the other end of the pitch, a reverse stick strike from Sheffield’s David Goodfield gave them the equaliser; 1-1. Sheffield were quick to score again; a goal from David Bond, assisted by Tom Barrat, gave them a 2-1 lead. Not to be outdone, Cardiff equalised through another on target shot from Luke Hawker, bringing the score to 2-2 coming in to the half time break.

Cardiff were quick to assert dominance in the second half, obtaining a penalty stroke in the first ten minutes which was slotted it in to the bottom right corner by Mark Whatling bringing the score to 3-2. Cardiff held on to possession, constantly hunting for the next goal which they were granted in the 60th minute. A second penalty stroke was converted by Mark Whatling giving them a further 4-2 lead over Sheffield. It was Rupert Shipperley who sealed the deal, increasing Cardiff’s lead to 5-2 in the 65th minute. Despite the best efforts of Christy Walkin and William Hearne, Sheffield were unable to score any further goals and were defeated 5-2 by a strong Cardiff side.

Speaking after the game, Cardiff Captain Lucas Eriksson said "The tournament has been tough, but every single game we've been there or thereabouts. It's a shame it took until the last game to finally put the performance in, but it's nice to end on a win. We've won the league two years in a row, and we've got to keep going and build on the experience we've had this weekend."