Men's Cup Final: Can the Bees sting the giant killers?

Chichester


The Magic of the Cup is often an overused phrase in sporting circles, but you try telling Chichester Priory Park that it doesn’t exist. Tomorrow, the Sussex outfit face off against Premier Division giants Beeston, hoping to add a third top flight scalp to their collection and to bring home the trophy in the process.

Chichester spent the season struggling at the foot of the West Conference, facing the dreaded relegation playoffs, where they stayed up thanks to two wins from two. In the cup they were a different proposition taking in wins over Fareham, Bath Buccs, Hampstead and Westminster and then Surbiton in the semi-final. Captain Kieran Henn was understandably buoyant in the wake of their semi-final triumph:

“Surbiton are one of the best sides in the country at the moment so we were massive underdogs, but we really wanted to prove to people that getting this far wasn’t a fluke.” said Henn. “We defended really well as we knew we’d have to. They had a lot of chances and a lot of penalty corners but we produced an outstanding team display.”

A 24th minute goal from Tom McCarthy, a beautiful backhand strike after a turnover in midfield made the difference between the two sides, but as well as McCarthy’s thunderbolt, Henn reserved special praise for the defence and goalkeeper Macieja “Magic” Pacanowskiego.

“Magic is an outstanding goalkeeper. Whenever we concede a penalty corner he lights up because he knows it’s a chance for him to excel. We all rally round him and his performance definitely spurred us on. Our post men picked some as well, I think they had about 16 penalty corners but we saw them off.”

“No one expected us to get this far and now we get to play against another great side in a great stadium. We're not getting carried away. Of course we're enjoying this achievement but we'll be focused on getting the job done.”

Beeston 2016 Cup Final

Waiting for Chichester in the final are Premier Division outfit Beeston. The Bees, who have won the competition four times, saw off a spirited display from City of Peterborough in the other semi final. A double from Richard Lawrence in the space of two second-half minutes as well as goals from Mohan Gandhi, Mark Wadsley and Hamish Imrie gave Beeston a 5-1 win. Peterborough’s consolation came from Robbie Muir in the 69th minute.

Beeston have a proud history in the competition. After a disappointing league campaign by their own very high standards, the cup represents a real carrot for a talented group of players. The last of the Bees’ cup final wins came in the 2011-12 season and they will be hoping to make it a fifth cup win this time around.

Chichester however will be raring to go and claim another Premier Division scalp, their third of this magical cup run. Will David slay Goliath or will the Bees sting Chichester? Not long till we find out!