Horsham Hockey Club eye play-off success

HORSHAM Hockey Club men’s first team have the chance of turning a great season into a historic one when they take part in the play-off day at Hazlemere on Sunday.

Superb wins over Marden Russetts and champions Sutton Valence in their final two games of the season saw the side sneak into second place in the Kent/Sussex 1 final standings to give themselves the chance of promotion.

They won all of their final nine league games and face Surrey/Hampshire runners-up Fareham II in the day’s first semi-final at 10.30am.

Skipper John Burroughs said: “Our last three games against Herne Bay, Marden and Sutton were like cup finals because they were must-win games so will approach this game in the same way. The whole club is buzzing and it’s a great achievement just to get here, but it will be a very tough ask to win two games.”

The other semi-final sees Oxford take on Purley Walcountians. Up for grabs is a place in the Southern Division 2, just two below the National Hockey League. “Promotion would be an absolute dream for the club, we’ve never been that high in our history so that is the challenge ahead of us,” Burroughs added.

Duncan Howarth and Mark Vivien go into the day carrying knocks while youngster Jamie Whitehouse has Wales U18 commitments.

There was great news too for Horsham Ladies First team, who have maintained their National Hockey League status with victory in the play-offs. A 5-0 win over Springfield and last week’s dramatic 1-1 draw with Bath Buccaneers all but confirmed their survival, confirmed by Bath’s draw with Springfields at the weekend.

The Ladies also reached the final of the Sussex Cup with a 6-2 win over Brighton I. They play Worthing on Sunday May 13.