In a fitting end to a disappointing season, Horsham retained the Sussex Senior Cup – the third successive year they have bought home the trophy.
In a thrilling cup-tie, in front of a large crowd at Eastbourne, Horsham’s forwards finally found the goal, Angus Donaldson netting a four-timer in a 6-3 win.
As now seems traditional Horsham got off to a sticky start, letting a Lewes forward behind the defence. His cross left Andy Isaacs stranded and unable to save the resulting shot.
However, Horsham have become resilient to being one down after two minutes. They set about business and the difference in class became obvious.
Lewes pay their hockey two divisions below Horsham and, while they were a typical plucky underdog, their style of play was somewhat agricultural.
Donaldson quickly restored the balance, before James Groves scored with a wonderful reverse stick strike that flew past the Lewes keeper’s ear. Shortly before half-time Donaldson got the ball with his back to goal, spun and fired home.
Horsham slightly took their foot off the pedal and in great cup final fashion, Lewes took advantage, fighting back to level the score. It was time for old heads to steady the ship and Freddie Campbell, Sean Pearcy and Rob Turnbull took control of the midfield. Once again a long through-ball found Donaldson who converted for his hat-trick.
Things got messy and yellow cards came out for both sides. Horsham however had the cooler heads and, in a goalmouth melee, Jean Marshall calmly flicked the ball backwards through his legs for a cute goal.
The final word fell to Donaldson – Barney Knights-Johnson made a strong run down the right and Donaldson sprinted 40 metres to meet the ensuing cross perfectly.
“Angus will rightly make the headlines, but this was a great team performance to round off the season,” manager Al Campbell said after the game.
“Pete Neave and Sam Bugler had stand out performances at the back, and it was great to be able to introduce 17 year old Jacob Ball who now has a cup winner medal after his first game ever for the team.”