Sevenoaks on course for indoor hockey finals day

Sevenoaks ended the opening weekend of the indoor Super 6s Premier Division with three wins and a defeat, leaving them as one of five teams tied on nine points at the top of the table. 

On Saturday they kicked off with a 7-2 victory against Bowdon. They got off to a dream start, scoring immediately from the push back before Bowdon had even touched the ball when a slick passing move ended with Craig Haley slotting into the back of the net. Further goals for George Torry, Ian Haley and Sam George saw Oaks go into the half-time break 4-1 up. David Smith added a fifth just after the interval, before Sam George added his second of the game putting Oaks 6-1 up. Bowdon pulled one back before Ian Haley grabbed his second to make the full time score 7-2 to Sevenoaks.

In the second game on Saturday Oaks faced Holcombe who had also won their first game 7-2. It was a very even affair with Holcombe taking the lead before Oaks built up a 3-1 lead just after the half time break with goals from Ian Haley, Torry and David Smith. Unfortunately, some profligate finishing from Oaks meant they failed to see off the game and Holcombe edged their way back in drawing level at 3-3 with ten minutes remaining. With four minutes left, Holcombe converted a penalty corner and Oaks were unable to find the back of the net again, losing 4-3.

Oaks bounced back convincingly on Sunday morning with a 6-2 victory over Canterbury. Smith got Oaks off to the perfect start when he attacked down the right-hand side and expertly flicked the ball into the far corner of the net from wide in the D to make it 1-0. Two quick goals from Craig Haley our Sevenoaks in the driving seat at 3-0 up after less than ten minutes. Canterbury rallied and pulled a goal back, but Oaks immediately added another to make it 4-1 after Ian Haley hit the back of the net. Torry added a fifth for Oaks to make it 5-1. Canterbury kept themselves just about in touch reducing the deficit to three goals but Oaks finished the game off with the goal of the game when slick interchange between Nick Barker and Torry ended with the former getting his first goal of the weekend to make the final score 6-2.

In the final game of the weekend Oaks faced Reading who were yet to win a game, and in a controlled performance Oaks recorded a 5-1 victory. Once again Oaks got off to a fast start when Craig Haley scored in the opening minute to make it 1-0. Reading hit back quickly drawing level at 1-1 in the third minute. After that Oaks completely dominated the game, and a quick-fire double from Ian Haley and Torry put them 3-1 up by the tenth minute. The Oaks defensive unit of Chris Barker, Nick Barker and Ben Fox performed expertly to keep out Reading and when they did get shots away Richard Potton was on superb form to repel any efforts. In the second half Oaks extended their lead to 4-1 when James Thomas notched his first indoor premier league goal with a far post conversion, before Ian Haley added his second of the game and sixth of the tournament to put Oaks 5-1 up, which was how it remained at full time.

It was a good weekend’s work for Sevenoaks, who are in a good position ahead of the second weekend next week. The whole squad performed brilliantly, and it was pleasing to see all players contributing fully including exciting teenage talents Fox and Lewis Wilcher, both products from the Sevenoaks junior section.

Next weekend Oaks face Surbiton, Wimbledon, East Grinstead and Hampstead and Westminster, from which they will likely need two victories to qualify for the Jaffa Super 6s Finals day on Sunday 2nd February.