Dramatic win clinches Horsham play-off place

HORSHAM Hockey Club face a promotion play-off after a stunning win last night at divisional champions Sutton Valence.

A 5-3 victory clinched a spot in the four-club play-off for promotion to the Southern Premier League, and John Burorughs’ men had to do it the hard way. Eight successive wins at the end of the season meant Horsham had put themselves in position to clinch the vital runner’s up spot, if they could beat Sutton, who had already clinched the title.

Captain Burroughs said: “We have had to win every game, it has been cup finals since January really.”

Promotion from the play-off group, which is also made up of Fareham II, Oxford and Maidstone - who are at threat of relegation from the Southern Premier - will mean Horsham men’s hockey would be competing at its highest ever level.

Under floodlights at the Kent club, Horsham romped into a two goal lead through Burroughs and Duncan Howarth, before Sutton hit back with short corner goal. The visitors then ran the risk of letting nerves get the better of them, and it took a half time warning to get back on track.

And they did so emphatically, roaring into a 5-1 lead through Burroughs, Howarth and Matt Hough. The game was not finished yet though, after a spell of intense pressure Sutton scored via two more short corners, and in conceding a third short corner, Freddie Campbell was yellow carded.

Horsham somehow saw off the late assault with a man down, to pip Marden Russets to second place.