Double dream dashed in final

Toby Reed scored at both ends in the Sussex Plate final
Toby Reed scored at both ends in the Sussex Plate final

South Saxons’ dreams of a league and cup double ended in disappointment.

The South Hockey League Sussex Area - Division One champions were beaten 4-3 by Penguin in the Sussex Plate final at East Grinstead HC on Saturday.

Saxons would have been hot favourites going into the game having finished nine places and 34 points above their opponents in the league, beating them twice along the way. But it wasn’t to be this time as they were downed in the final for the second season in a row by Worthing-based Penguin.

George Eldridge had handed Saxons a perfect start, scoring within the first 10 minutes. Penguin soon equalised, though, and scored twice more after the break to take a surprise lead.

Saxons captain Paddy Cornish was then yellow carded and sin-binned, during which time Penguin added a fourth courtesy of a Toby Reed own goal. With Cornish back on, Saxons began their fightback, but there was only 10 minutes remaining for them to save their skins.

Reed pulled one back for the Hastings-based team before Eldridge made the deficit just one, but it was too little too late. “We just never got going,” admitted Cornish. “We took an early lead and became complacent after that.”

Saxons: Wedmore, Reed, Cload, Ford, Cornish, Coombs, Stainsby, Eldridge, Busbridge, Burnett, Orr. Subs: Buss, Reece, Whitehouse, Bunday.