Reading earn biggest Men's Cup Final win in 15 years

Reading win the 2017 Men's Cup Final

Reading 6 (Park 17 (FG), Watts 27 (PC), 67 (FG), Atkins 40 (FG), Gerrits 60 (FG), Carson 70 (FG))

Canterbury 1 (Boyne 42 (FG))


Reading took the Men's Cup in fine style, seeing off Canterbury 6-1 to secure the biggest margin of victory in this final for some 15 years.

With player/coach Andy Watts and stalwarts Jonty Clarke and Richard Mantell all set to move on from the club, it was a fitting way for them to sign off with medals around their necks. They sealed their five-goal win as James Carson scored with the final touch of the match, with his brother Tom having scored for Great Britain earlier in the day.

With seven goals it was a great finale to this, the most prestigious knockout tournament in English hockey.

The game started at a lively pace, Scottish international Tommy Alexander making a super save from an early penalty corner. His Reading teammate Monty Jefferson then went on a superb individual run from deep in his own half, and was agonisingly close to creating a wonderful goal.

Reading began to up the ante, and 'Bury's Bill Cain was soon shown a green card as his side performed a rearguard action. However they were powerless to prevent Reading's top class opening goal on 17 minutes, Imre Gerrits firing across a super pass that Nick Park turned home from close range.

Canterbury went in search of an immediate reply, and Will Heywood was inches away from an equaliser after a trademark charge forward.

Then with the half drawing to a close, Reading made a penalty corner pay dividends, the ball being worked to veteran player/coach Andy Watts, who made no mistake in his final game for the 'Ding. His side then went in search of another, James Carson only denied by a good save from Diccon Stubbings.

Into the second half and Reading further imposed their dominance on the game, Ben Boon charging down the right, firing a cross in that Stubbings did well to parry, but he was powerless to stop Tim Atkins' magnificent finish into the top corner.

But, as so often happens in hockey, the game took another twist as Canterbury skipper Craig Boyne scored what one journalist described as a contender for goal of the season, volleying home a wonderful aerial to reduce the deficit.

Reading's Park then had a great chance, but shot wide at the near post after a slip from a Canterbury defender. With ten minutes to go, the lively Gerrits did make it 4-1 with a neat shot, practically ending Canterbury's resistance.

With confidence at a high, Watts then added a stylish fifth, before Carson made it 6-1 with the final touch of the game at a penalty corner.

Reading:
Tommy Alexander (GK), Ciaran O'Connell, Richard Mantell, Monty Jefferson, Ben Boon, Ed Carson, Dan Shingles (c), James Carson, Jonty Clarke, Andy Watts, Tim Atkins, Rhys Doherty, Imre Gerrits, Nick Park, Ajai Dhadwal, Jonny Gooch

Canterbury:
Diccon Stubbings (GK), Kris Glass, Bill Cain, Jack Balsdon, Chris Laslett, Matt Burton-Bowen, Sam George, Craig Boyne (c), Sam Barrett, Hamish Roberts, Edward Welch, Andrew Dunn, Sean Gilmore, Will Heywood, Max Liebenshutz-Jones