Wimbledon set for Championship showdown

Blake Govers Wimbledon 480 x 290
Surbiton 0 (0)

Wimbledon 2 (0)
Blake Govers 57 (PC)
Stephen Ebbers 69 (FG)

In only their second season in the Premier division, Wimbledon overcame a resilient Surbiton to book their place in the NOW: Pensions Men's Hockey League Championship Final. Goals from Blake Govers and Steve Ebbers proved to be the difference in the last game of the day.

The early exchanges of the match were even, each side creating chances and testing the goalkeepers as both David Kettle for Surbiton and James Bailey in the Wimbledon goal had to be on their toes. As the game progressed, Wimbledon started creating the better chances, putting Surbiton under increasing pressure. Kettle was called upon to save from Mikey Hoare and Ben Hawes from penalty corners, but the Sugden road defence stood firm.

It took until the final quarter of the game before the deadlock was broken, as Govers dragged a low shot past Kettle. Govers was soon in the centre of the action once again as he very nearly took another chance, but the Surbiton defence scrambled to clear. Wimbledon's confidence and momentum continued to grow, with Alastair Brogdon crafting a fine chance, and at the death, Steve Ebbers finished off a strong run with a deft flick into the Surbiton goal.

The 2-0 win sets up a final for Wimbledon tomorrow against East Grinstead, and Surbiton face Beeston in a third/fourth playoff.

England and Wimbledon's Alastair Brogdon reflected on what was a tough encounter: “We had a decent number of chances in the first half but Surbiton kept it pretty tight and their goalkeeper made some good saves. We had a few penalty corners to stop from them but we knew if we carried on working hard and creating chances that something would come. Blake scored a great flick and the momento came from there and we managed to get that all important second goal. It’s going to be tough against East Grinstead tomorrow, but the main thing for us is to recover and do everything we can to be well prepared. They had a great win today over Beeston but we’ve beaten them before this season so hopefully we can do it again.”   

Great Britain and Surbiton's Chris Grasswick felt his side could have performed better “We're very disappointed, we just weren’t good enough from the start really. We had a few chances but couldn’t capitalise and fair play to Wimbledon, they played well. We’ve had a great season and were just pipped to the top but when it comes down to it, we’ve got to do better in the big games. We’ll be going out 100% tomorrow against Beeston as nobody wants to finish last.”

Advance tickets are available for tomorrow's fixtures until midnight tonight. Tickets will also be available to purchase on the door at an increased price of £22.50 for adults and £8 for U18s. Click here to purchase.

The schedule of play for tomorrow is as follows:

10.45: Team Bath Buccaneers (West) v Holcombe (East) 
   NOW: Pensions Men's Hockey League Play-Offs 
10.45: Bowdon (North) v Canterbury (Prem)
   NOW: Pensions Men's Hockey League Play-Offs 
13.00: Beeston v Surbiton
   NOW: Pensions Men's Hockey League Championship 3rd v 4th Play-Off
15.15: East Grinstead v Wimbledon
   NOW: Pensions Men's Hockey League Championship Final