EHL Championships & Promotion Tournaments

Action from Reading v Hampstead & Westminster in Week 1 of the Slazenger EHL 2008-09

The latest results from the EHL Championships and Promotion Tournaments are here:

Beeston 4
Sam Ward 6, F
Jamie Parker 30, F
Matt Taylor 33, 43 F, F

East Grinstead 4
Danny Hall 19, F
Gareth Carr 59, 64, 66, PC, PC, PC

Penalty Strokes
Stephen Wood (Beeston)O
Danny Hall (East Grinstead)X
Adam Dixon (Beeston)X
Niall Stott (East Grinstead)X
Andrew Monte (Beeston)X
Mats Grambusch (East Grinstead)X
Chris Seddon (Beeston)X
Gareth Carr (East Grinstead)X

East Grinstead win 7-9 After Penalty Strokes
East Grinstead celebrate being crowned EHL Premier Division Champions for the second season runningEast Grinstead and Beeston, if you look at the stats over the last six games, are equally matched, so the crowd were anticipating a close affair before the start of this game, where fourth met second. Their two meetings this season ended in parity so a draw was always on the cards. Beeston were off to a scintillating start when Sam Ward finished in the sixth minute. East Grinstead equalised in the 19th minute through Danny Hall’s searing strike that rattled past George Pinner. Beeston went ahead again through Jamie Parker, and then extended their lead when Matt Taylor struck shortly before half time. It was 3-1 as the teams left for their half time team talk. Matt Taylor was the next to score for Beeston in the 43rd minute providing a three goal cushion. With eleven minutes remaining on the clock, East Grinstead trailed by those three goals, but that was before Gareth Carr stepped up to take a penalty corner, which he calmly despatched into the top right hand corner. East Grinstead earned another on 64 minutes; Gareth Carr did the same, Pinner touching it with his pad as it flew into the net. With the tension mounting, East Grinstead probed the Beeston defence searching for further openings, and with four minutes remaining earned a penalty corner, which, with the crowd sensing the outcome, Gareth Carr smashed home another penalty corner into the same top right hand corner. The scores remained level when the final hooter sounded, sending the game into golden goal extra time.

The extra time period produced no goals, and sent the league championship decider into penalty strokes. Stephen Wood was first to step up for Beeston, and had his stroke smartly saved by Richard Potton. The two sides then traded goals, and it was left to Gareth Carr, the final stroke taker for East Grinstead to win the game. He held his nerve and netted the winner which had East Grinstead fans in delirium. 

So it proved that the game at full time had ended in parity, much like the form had suggested, and it came to strokes to separate the two, with East Grinstead holding their nerve the better.

Canterbury 4
Mickel Pierre 2, F
Kwan Browne  22, PC
Michael Farrer 32, PC
Matt Harper 48, F

Brooklands MU 1
David Seddon 5, PC

Canterbury celebrate scoring one of four against Brooklands MUCanterbury and Brooklands faced off on pitch one at the EHL Men’s Promotion Tournament with Cantebury having taken full points leading in to the game. Canterbury took the lead in the second minute when Mickel Pierre scored in open play. Brooklands, however, were level shortly after through David Seddon’s penalty corner strike. The game ebbed and flowed including Lee Ible producing an excellent save from a thunderous Kwan Browne strike. Browne was to have the last laugh when in the 22nd minute he rifled a penalty corner strike into the top left hand corner. Canterbury went 3-1 ahead in the 32nd minute after a favourable deflection fell for Michael Farrer to finish. Matt Harper put the game beyond doubt in the 48th minute, and the game ended 4-1.

Deeside Ramblers 3
Geoff Price 4, F
James Warburton 8, F
Ali Ghazanfar 56, PC

Team Bath Buccaneers 1
Tim Davenport 19, PC

Deeside Ramblers' Ali Ghazanfar in action against Team Bath BuccsTeam Bath Buccaneers needed just a draw against Deeside Ramblers, if Canterbury beat Brooklands, to gain promotion. They got off to a poor start when, in the fourth minute, Geoff Price put the Cheshire side ahead. They increased their lead four minutes later through James Warburton’s goal in open play, the Team Bath Buccaneers side were shell shocked. With nineteen minutes gone, Tim Davenport pulled Team Bath within a goal and it stayed that way at the half. Throughout the second half, Bath threw players forward but were unable to find the goal they desired. Against the run of play, Deeside Ramblers increased their lead through top scorer, Ali Ghazanfar in the 56th minute from a penalty corner strike. Team Bath continued to press but did not affect the score, finishing 3-1 to Deeside. That left three teams on three points at the bottom of the Men’s EHL Promotion Tournament. 

Canterbury were promoted after a perfect Promotion Tournament campaign with three wins from three. Though Brooklands MU lost 4-1 to Canterbury, Team Bath Buccaneers’ defeat to Deeside Ramblers – who also finished on three points, but with a -12 goal difference – earned Brooklands a stay of execution and they will compete in the Premier Division again in 2009-10.

Durham University 4
Louisa Boddy 17, 34, PC, PC
Gwen Smith 27, F
Stephanie Elliott 38, F

Cannock 5
Laura Johns 6, F
Hollie Webb 46, 70 PC, PS
Hayley Turner 50, PC
Linda Royston 59, F

Cannock celebrate scoring against Durham in their dramatic 5-4 victoryCannock, in search of a win to better their chances of promotion, started the brighter of the two sides, scoring inside 2 minutes through Laura Jones against Durham University. They continued to heap pressure, earning two penalty corners that were saved. Durham, on the break, earned a penalty corner, which was worked to the left and smashed home to the left of Sarah Ralphs by Louisa Boddy in the 17th minute. The game then swung in favour of Durham who had another penalty corner deflected wide at the left hand post. Pressure high up the field then paid off for the palatinates who broke quickly, moved the ball to Gwen Smith free on the left, and she coolly slotted home to make the score line 2-1. Durham then produced an identikit penalty corner which Louisa Boddy finished with aplomb. With the half time score 3-1, Durham were in pole position for their first win of the tournament. Shortly after the half began, Durham scored their fourth, for a three goal advantage. Cannock pulled a goal back in the 47th minute when Hollie Webb netted the rebound from a saved penalty corner. Just two minutes later, Cannock had pulled back to 4-3 when Hayley Turner deflected the ball at the right hand post into the net from a penalty corner. With eleven minutes remaining on the clock, Linda Royston levelled the scores for Cannock to set up a dramatic finish. And so it was, with seconds on the clock, Cannock penetrated the Durham circle and were awarded a penalty stroke. Hollie Webb was the player charged with stepping up to the spot. She coped with that pressure admirably by despatching the penalty to right hand side of the backboard sending the Cannock crowd wild.

Ipswich 1
Emma Millar 18, PC

Clifton 1
Fleur Horner 9, PC

Action from Clifton v Ipswich in their 1-1 drawClifton retained their Premier Division status after drawing 1-1 with Ipswich a result which meant also that the Suffolk side will play Conference hockey again in 2010-11. Clifton took an early lead in the game when Fleur Horner powered home a ninth minute corner. However Ipswich battled back and kept the ball in the D after a corner which allowed Emma Miller to equalise from close range on 18 minutes. 1-1 at half time and ears were cocked to the other pitch where the fast changing score line gave rise to many different possible promotion permutations, but the game offered few chances. Ipswich had two overtime corners at the end of the game but failed to convert either and a goal at stage would not have altered the final outcome.

It was an enthralling ending to the Women’s EHL Promotion Tournament with the permutations for qualification to the Premier Division changing on a minute by minute basis. As it was, Cannock secured the second Premier Division place by two points over Ipswich after their dramatic comeback against Durham, a performance worthy of their success.        

Matchday 2 - Sunday 2nd May
Canterbury 4
Michael Farrer 12, F
Aaron Hudson 63, 65 F, F
Mickel Pierre 70, F

Team Bath Buccaneers 3
Tim Davenport 13, 38, F, F
Rich Bendry 66, F

Canterbury celebrate a goal durin their seven goal thriller against Team Bath BuccaneersIn an enthralling end to the day’s proceedings Canterbury edged out Bath in a seven goal thriller. A 13th minute Michael Farrer strike for Canterbury was cancelled out within a minute by Tim Davenport and the score stayed at 1-1 until half time. Davenport put Bath 2-1 up after 38 minutes with a close range effort and they held on to the lead until a frenetic final seven minutes. Canterbury turned the game on its head with 63rd and 65 minute goals from Aaron Hudson only for Bath to equalise with a sharp deflection of a right wing cross by Richard Bendry. Both teams went for the winner and it was Canterbury who clinched it in dramatic fashion with just 4 seconds on the clock when Mickel Pierre deflected the ball home on the right post to seal a 4-3 win for the Kent side.

Today’s results mean Canterbury can clinch promotion with a win or draw against Brooklands tomorrow, otherwise the permutations for promotions will involve goal difference. 

Brooklands MU 7
Peter Flanagan 13, PC
Charlie Brooke 17, F
Mark Richardson 39, F
David Flanagan 40, F
David Seddon 52, PC
Richard Thompson 56, PC
Andy Bull 70, PC

Deeside Ramblers 2
Ali Ghazanfar 27, PC
Russell Hornby 58, PC

Brooklands MU celebrate scoring against Deeside RamblersBrooklands kept their hopes of retaining Premier Division status alive with a 7-2 defeat of Cheshire rivals Deeside Ramblers. Brooklands took a two goal lead  through a Peter Flanagan corner and a lovely deflection by Charlie Brooke. Deeside’s top scorer Ali Ghazanfar put them on the scoresheet with a trademark drag flick corner to make it 2-1 at half time. However Brooklands pulled away in the second half with goals from Mark Richardson, David Flanagan, David Seddon and Richard Thompson before Russell Hornby reduced the deficit. Brooklands made it 7-2 on the stroke of full time when Andy Bull netted from a corner.      

Ipswich 1
Charlotte Anderson 45, PC

Cannock 3
Hayley Turner 11, PC
Megan Byas 48, F
Latasha Webb 70, PC

Cannock celebrate scoring against Ipswich in their 3-1 winCannock kept alive their hope of promotion to the top flight with a 3-1 win over Ipswich. Cannock drew first blood with Hayley Turner netting a corner deflection in the 11th minute and held on to the lead until half time. On the back of Ipswich pressure the Suffolk side equalised when Charlotte Anderson drilled home a 45th minute corner. However Cannock fought back immediately and after good work by Turner, Emma le Marchand’s cross from the left was struck home at close range by Megan Byas. Cannock didn’t allow Ipswich to get back in the game and sealed victory when Latasha Webb swept home a late penalty corner. 

Today’s results mean that a win for Cannock tomorrow will see them promoted, Ipswich need to beat Clifton by two goals to do likewise and Clifton need to draw to retain top flight status. Durham’s outside chance of promotion would need them to beat Cannock by three goals and see Ipswich lose to Clifton.                                      

Clifton 3
Fleur Horner 6, PC
Georgie Twigg 41, F
Sinton 59, PC

Durham University 2
Harriet Moore 46, PC
Sophie Davies 65, PC

Clifton's Georgie Twigg celebrates scoring in the Women's Promotion Tournament

Following Clifton’s 3-2 win over Cannock yesterday morning, their game against Durham University, the first of the second day, provided the opportunity to move into prime position for a place in the Premier Division in 2010-11. Durham, who failed to qualify from this tournament last year, were determined not to let the past repeat itself, hoping to get their promotion campaign back on track. Clifton took the lead in the game in the 6th minute through Fleur Horner’s goal from a penalty corner. Durham rallied, pressing Clifton and earning several penalty corners which they were unable to convert. Clifton led at the half with just the one goal cushion. Durham University continued to forge forward in search of an elusive goal. It was Clifton, however, that scored the second of the game thanks to Georgie Twigg. Durham pulled a goal back to raise the tension of the game when just five minutes later Harriet Moore netted. The fight back was curtailed when Clifton restored their two goal advantage through Liz Sinton. With just five minutes remaining on the clock a well worked penalty corner routine was guided home by Sophie Davies after it appeared she had initially mis-controlled the ball. Durham pushed for the equaliser, culminating in an incisive breakaway which eventually fizzled out in the left hand corner, and as the hooter sounded, it left a massive task on hand for Durham University tomorrow to overturn the tables. Clifton will be left to wait on other results to see if they will be confirmed a place in the Premier Division next season before their next game.

Matchday 1 - Saturday 1st May

Leicester 0

Slough 1
Chloe Strong 55, PC

Slough celebrate having been crowned Women's EHL Premier Division ChampionsOld foes Leicester and Slough competed in the Women’s EHL Championships Final in the final game of the day, welcomed in by an exuberant crowd. The first half was tight and tense with neither side taking too many risks, the result of which was the half ending in goalless stalemate. The second half started in much the same manner, both sides vying, nervously, for the chance to be crowned EHL Premier Division Champions. With possession mainly exchanged in the middle of the field, and clear cut goalscoring chances at a premium, it was a game that would require a moment of clinical finishing to break the deadlock. And so it was, as Chloe Strong smashed home a penalty corner in the 55th minute to the bottom left hand corner of Maddie Hinch’s goal. Leicester strived for the equalising goal forcing Becky Duggan in to a couple of fine saves, but it proved to be elusive as the final hooter sending the Slough players into raptures. 

Deeside Ramblers 0

Canterbury 9
Kwan Browne 21, 40 PC, PC
Matt Harper 22, 33 F, F
Mickel Pierre 28, 41 F, F
Ben Hare 47, F
Matthew Tang Nian 48, F
Michael Farrer 67, PC

Canterbury celebrate one of nine goals over Deeside RamblersIn a thoroughly one sided affair, Conference East champions Canterbury put Conference North champions Deeside Ramblers to the sword in a 9-0 thrashing. It was a large scoreline when taking into account it took Canterbury 21 minutes before they opened the scoring through player coach Kwan Browne. Browne was amoung two others, Matt Harper and Mickel Pierre to score twice in the game. It was, in fact, a sustained burst of 30 minutes in the game that produced eight of Canterbury’s nine goals. Michael Farrer rounded the scoring for the victors by smashing homing a penalty corner in the 67th minute. Deeside earned the opportunity for a consolation goal in the dying seconds but were unlucky to see a penalty corner strike hit the bar followed by a smart save from Ben Cowling from the shot that resulted from the rebound. Canterbury enter tomorrow in pole position after such a dominating win.

Team Bath Buccaneers 2
Lewis Prosser 61, F
Tim Davenport 62, F

Brooklands MU 1
David Seddon 10, F

Team Bath Buccaneers celebrate the winning goal against Brooklands MUIn the first mens game of the day, Conference West champions Team Bath Buccaneers came from behind to beat Premier Division Brooklands MU. Brooklands took the lead on 10th minutes when a David Seddon shot eluded Bath keeper James Bailey who had just made a great save from a corner. Brooklands held the initiative until the game turned on its head with 10 minutes left. Bath’s first penalty corner of the half broke down but the ball fell kindly to Lewis Prosser who fired home on 61 minutes. Seconds later a reverse hit left wing cross from Rich Bendry was deflected off a Brooklands stick and Tim Davenport scored with a chest high deflection at the far post. After this Brooklands were unable to get back into the game with Bath looking more likely to score a third.        

Durham University 0

Ipswich 2
Mille McWhirter 53, PC
Lizzy Aldous 68, PS

Action from Durham University v IpswichIn the second game of the day, Conference North Champions Durham University faced Conference East Champions Ipswich.  It was a close and tense affair, which remained goalless at half time. It was Mille McWhirter who broke the deadlock for Ipswich with a penalty corner strike that crept into the bottom left hand corner in the 53rd minute. Despite rallying, Durham University were again pegged back in the 68th minute by Lizzy Aldous who struck from the penalty spot from a stroke that was awarded after a penalty corner strike was judged to have been blocked illegally. The game ended 2-0 leaving Ipswich in an excellent position heading into tomorrow's fixture with Cannock.

Clifton 3
Carys Hopkins 21, F
Fleur Horner 30, PC
Leah Wilkinson 64, F

Cannock 2
Ellie Watton 23, PC
Linda Royston 28, F

Clifton celebrate their winning goal over CannockClifton and Cannock competed in the first game of the Women’s Promotion Tournament in sunny conditions at Chase Park. The game, like the weather, started brightly, Clifton taking the early lead through Carys Hopkin after some well worked play on the left. Cannock equalised shortly after, and went ahead through Linda Royston; however, five minutes before halftime, Fleur Horner equalised from a penalty corner deflected into the top right hand corner. In a well contested second half, it was Leah Wilkinson that proved the difference by netting a 64th minute winner which gets Clifton off to a great start in their fight for Premier Division survival.