Condon keeps Grinstead on course for eight in a row

East Grinstead vs Sevenoaks Super6s 480 x 290

Sevenoaks 3 (1)
Chris Barker 20 (FG)
George Torry 22 (PC)
Duncan Parnis 24 (FG)

East Grinstead 6 (2)
Rob Schilling 8 (FG)
David Condon 17 37 (FG, FG)
Ben Allberry 26 (FG)
Ross Stott 29 (FG)
Simon Faulkner 31 (PC)

East Grinstead stayed on course for their eighth title in a row, running out 6-3 winners over Sevenoaks in an absorbing game. A double from Great Britain’s David Condon did the damage and despite some superb goalkeeping from both Richard Potton and Paddy Smith it was Grinstead’s ruthlessness in front of goal that won the day.

Nick Barker was first to threaten for Sevenoaks, the captain driving straight through the defence, only to be halted by Smith who rushed out to smother well. Michael Barker had a good chance saved again by Smith and despite Sevenoaks being in the ascendancy it was East Grinstead who took the lead. Rob Schilling popped up at the back post and slotted in to make it 1-0. Smith was called upon again almost immediately, making another good save as Sevenoaks searched for leveller.

The East Grinstead goalkeeper was fast-becoming the contest’s most influential figure, making a stunning stick save to deny Owain Dolan-Gray with five minutes to the break. A slick passing move from East Grinstead doubled their lead on 17 minutes, a flurry of first time passes carved Sevenoaks open and the England man Condon made no mistake.

Sevenoaks clawed their way back into the contest just before the break when Chris Barker smuggled the ball past Smith at the near post making sure it was all to play for in the second half.

Sevenoaks won a penalty corner inside the first minute of the half. George Torry, their top scorer stepped up and rifled an unstoppable flick into the roof of the net to tie it up. East Grinstead were reeling and within two minutes of drawing level Sevenoaks got their noses in front. Torry broke through the defence and found Duncan Parnis to tap in from close range. The crowd were on the edge of their seats and East Grinstead restored parity with a lovely pass from Jannis Schwebs expertly touched in by Ben Allberry.

The game took another dramatic twist as East Grinstead nudged themselves back in front through a good finish from Ross Stott and then two minutes later it was 5-3 thanks to a rocket penalty corner from Simon Faulkner.

With Sevenoaks pushing forwards for an equaliser, East Grinstead began to pick them off on the break. Richard Potton, the former EG goalkeeper performed heroics to keep them at bay but there was nothing he could do to keep out Condon’s second after 37 minutes which made the game safe for the holders. They make their way to the final once again hoping to pick up their eighth title in a row.

Goalkeeper Paddy Smith spoke to England Hockey afterwards: