South Saxons got the new hockey season up and running with a 4-2 victory at home to Hailsham in the Sussex Plate.
Goals from Dave Draper (2), Rob Whitehouse and new captain Paddy Cornish put Saxons through to the end-of-season semi-finals, although they made life hard for themselves through a lack of discipline.
Cornish said: “It was a good start. We played well, it was just our discipline let us down really. We had four players sin-binned and we were down to eight players on two occasions.”
Saxons marched into a two-goal lead through Whitehouse and Draper, but Hailsham were on level terms by half time despite their goalkeeper sustaining an injury and having to use an outfield player between the posts.
Cornish put Saxons back in front five or 10 minutes into the second half and Draper restored their two-goal cushion with one of his trademark drag flicks.
Saxons, winners of the competition in 2010, put themselves under pressure in the closing stages, though, with the various sin-binnings. Oscar Rogers and Dan Burnett performed well.
Saxons (2-3-2-3): Deaves; Reed, Watters; Eldridge, Bunday, Cload; Burnett, Coombs; Cornish, Draper, Whitehouse. Subs: Spinks, Nutt, Rogers, Morris.
Saxons will entertain Folkestone seconds in a friendly on Saturday before beginning their league campaign with a home game against Penguin on October 1.
The full article will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.