Play-off anguish spurs on Saxons

South Saxons captain Paddy Cornish
South Saxons captain Paddy Cornish

The disappointment of last year’s promotion play-off defeat will make South Saxons even more determined this time.

That’s the view of captain Paddy Cornish as South Hockey League Sussex Area - Division One runners-up Saxons prepare to face Ashford II, who finished second in the Kent division, at Holcombe HC tomorrow (Saturday).

Cornish said: “I think it will make us more determined. Last year we didn’t start the game well at all and got punished early on (in a 3-0 defeat to Tunbridge Wells).”

Saxons accrued 47 points from 20 games (it would have been 53 from 22 had East Grinstead IV not withdrawn from the league), while Ashford garnered 52 from 22. The two teams met in a friendly at the start of 2012.

“We know a little bit about them, we don’t know a great deal,” continued Cornish. “Same as any game like this, it’s whoever turns up on the day I think and I’m hoping it’s going to be us.

“If we play how we can, we will win. There’s no two ways about it. If we turn up on the day, we could give their first team a good game so there’s no reason why we can’t do it.”

Cornish has played at Holcombe - which he describes as “a lovely venue” - once previously in a county game for one of the Sussex age groups and lost 8-7. Suffice to say he is hoping for a different outcome in Rochester tomorrow.

Saxons expect to be at full strength for a match which will start at 12.15pm.