Premier League Hockey returns to Hollybush Lane

Credit: Michele Jacobs

Hockey returned to Hollybush Lane at the start of February as Sevenoaks mens first XI welcomed league leaders Surbiton for the first Premier League game back after the winter break.

Having lost 6-2 in the away tie, it was always going to be a tough game for Oaks, but they got off to a bright start, keeping possession well and probing at the Surbiton defence.

It was therefore a huge disappointment when they conceded an extremely soft deflection in the 12th minute when the ball was pushed across goal and a tame deflection somehow found its way into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

Oaks responded well, and within minutes earned a penalty corner, but Andrew Ross saw his effort swatted away by the goalkeeper.

Shortly after a well worked move saw the ball fall to George Torry in the D but his reverse effort looped up to give the keeper an easy save. In the 23rd minute, Surbiton won a penalty corner, and a low flick to the bottom left corner beat Richard Potton and gave Surbiton a 2-0 lead, and that was how it remained until half time.

Oaks continued to play good hockey but without forcing the opposing keeper into too many saves, other than a couple of penalty corner efforts from Ross that were well saved. Midway through the half a Surbiton counter saw the ball squirm across goal where the attacker slammed in a reverse stick effort to make it 3-0. It was a harsh scoreline for Oaks given the quality of their play, but they kept working right until the final whistle and as the game drew to a close they were rewarded for their hard work with a consolation goal scored by Tejinder Hanspal to make the final score 3-1.

With Canterbury also losing the result leaves Oaks in the relegation playoff spot. They travel to Reading next week in search of points to pull clear of Canterbury at the foot of the table and draw themselves closer to Brooklands above them.

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