East Grinstead on course for magnificent seven

Simon Faulkner and Chris Griffiths celebrate during Hockey 5s sf 2015

East Grinstead 7 (3)
Niall Stott 5, 36, (PC, PC)
David Condon 5 (F)
Mark Pearn 14, 23, (F, F)
Simon Faulkner 25 (PC)
Chris Griffiths 29 (F)

Reading 5 (2)
Tom Carson 14, 39 (F, PC)
Richard Mantell 18, 34, (PC, PC)
Richard Springham 24 (F)

The first semi-final of the Hockey 5s was a twelve-goal end-to-end thriller, with East Grinstead coming out on top 7–5 against Reading. A brace from captain Niall Stott and his team mate Mark Pearn as well as further goals from Simon Faulkner, Chris Griffiths and David Condon earned East Grinstead a spot in the 2015 final.

After a cagey opening couple of minutes, East Grinstead broke the deadlock with the tournament’s top scorer Niall Stott bagging his 20th of the competition. He drilled home from a penalty corner past a diving Gary Noble in the Reading goal.
The Sonning Lane side created chances through England team mates Tom Carson and Dan Shingles but it was East Grinstead who were clinical in front of goal, taking a 3 – 0 lead through Condon and Pearn. Moments later, Reading were on the score sheet through Carson before Richard Mantell fired home a trademark penalty corner to leave the score poised at 3 – 2 going into half time.

Both teams were out the blocks quickly in the second half with Pearn restoring the two goal cushion for East Grinstead and Reading hitting straight back through Richard Springham. Niall Stott's men were able to give themselves some breathing space with further goals from Faulkner and Griffiths extending their lead to 6 – 3.

Seven minutes from time, Reading took off Noble and used Shingles as a kicking back and the extra outfield player had an immediate impact, allowing Mantell to score his second of the game. Andy Watts' side continued to press, but when East Grinstead were awarded another penalty corner, Stott made no mistake firing low into an open Reading goal. It was too little too late when Carson rifled home Reading’s fifth with two minutes to go. East Grinstead held firm and the final score stood at 7 – 5.

David Condon, East Grinstead: "We talked about staying compact. We knew we could score so we just needed to limit the damage they caused us. We're a confident bunch so we go into the final feeling good. We have plenty of quality and we're looking forward to trying to win our seventh in a row."

East Grinstead will await the winner of the second semi final between Sevenoaks and Canterbury.

You can see all the stats, facts and figures from the game by visiting our online results service.

You can also watch the rest of the day's action live from the comfort of your own home, via the England Hockey website.