South Saxons’ defence of the Sussex Plate came to a shock end in controversial circumstances.
The visitors came flying out of the blocks at the start of the game and Watters had already cleared one shot from a penalty corner off the line by the time Hailsham took the lead with another well-worked short corner routine, Benjie Groom the scorer.
Falling behind seemed to give Saxons a kick up the backside and they dominated the play thereafter, but struggled to create clearcut chances against a Hailsham team which defended in numbers. When they did, Hailsham’s man of the match Richard Burraston was invariably in the way.
Right-back Sam Bunday equalised before half time by touching home a shot from his dad Jeremy that was going in anyway and it looked as though there would only be one winner.
The game became extremely heated early in the second half and the umpires got both captains together in an attempt to calm things down.
Hailsham nicked a winner with around four minutes remaining. Watters’ attempted clearance only went as far as Rob Lee, who thumped it home from the top of the D.
A full report will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.