Play-off heartache for Horsham hockey club

CAPTAIN John Burroughs has spoken of his pride after his Horsham hockey side just missed out on promotion on Sunday.

The rain-lashed play-off day at Hazlemere School contained plenty of drama, as Horsham won an epic semi-final against Fareham II 7-5 - a match that lasted more than four hours because of a rain delay in the second half.

Having given their all to make the final, their semi-final exertions took their toll on the Horsham legs, and despite starting well they eventually lost the decider 4-0 against Purley Walcountians.

To fall at the final hurdle when promotion to Division 2 of the South Premier League seemed achievable was ‘desperately disappointing’ for Burroughs and his squad. But having seen his young side win their final nine league matches - including momentous victories over Marden Russets and Sutton Valence in the last two games - and come so close to reaching the club’s highest ever level, the skipper had nothing but praise for his talented young side.

He said: “To win ten straight games including the semi is a huge achievement in itself and to only just lose out in the final, the players should be immensely proud of themselves after being down and out after Christmas.

“The semi-final was the first time we’ve not scored in a game in two years so that tells you how far we have come.

“I’m now standing down as captain after three extremely enjoyable years but for me next year, if this squad stays together can be our year. We’ve played some fantastic hockey and we’re on the crest of a wave, it’s vital the club realise the potential to move forward because it doesn’t happen easily.”