Exiles snatch title in dramatic circumstances on the last day of the season
Division 4SW St Albans Exiles 3 Blueharts 1 Exiles went into the final game of the season equal at the top of the League with season front runners Potter Bar. Both teams were playing at Dame Alice Owen, with Potters Bar taking on lowly Broxbourne III in
St Albans Exiles 3 Blueharts 1
Exiles went into the final game of the season equal at the top of the League with season front runners Potter Bar.
Both teams were playing at Dame Alice Owen, with Potters Bar taking on lowly Broxbourne III in the early start, followed by the Exiles against mid-table Blueharts.
A Potters Bar win would have seen Exiles having to win by 14 more goals.
With many of the Exiles turning up to watch the early game, they had smiles on their faces when Broxbourne took an early lead. They were grinning like Cheshire Cats when Broxbourne went into a 3-0 lead at the break and despite Potters Bar managing to pull back two goals Broxbourne held out for an unlikely win.
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Exiles started their game on a positive note, playing fast, one touch hockey.
The game was being watched by many of the Potters Bar team who were hoping for a miracle result. However, they slowly drifted away when Exiles took a deserved lead after about 15 minutes. Good play from Adam Ross and Martin Jones found Simon White two yards out with his back to goal. Despite close attention from the 'keeper, he turned and flicked the ball, all in one movement, high into the net.
Blueharts looked dangerous on the break but were kept at bay by some top defending and a number of outstanding saves.
Exiles doubled the lead after about 20 minutes when Adam Ross broke into the D with some calm stick play and slotted home from close range. Exiles relaxed and played some good hockey, but started to give the Blueharts midfield too much space and time on the ball.
With half time approaching, the ball bounced around the Blueharts line until Simon White smashed a waist high ball into the roof of the net, despite protests of dangerous play from Blueharts.
The second half was a rather muted affair with the ball played around with ease, and Blueharts lucky to keep a full compliment of players, as a stick into the ribs of Brian Allen saw him have to leave the field and did not return.
Exiles could not keep a clean sheet as Blueharts took advantage of a breakaway by their young left winger. Despite being tackled, the ball fell nicely on his stick and he calmly slotted home from 10 yards.
The game petered out for a 3-1 win and giving Exiles the title on last game of the season. Potters Bar will be gutted having headed the table from day one, and, at one stage, having a nine point lead. However they lost home and away to the Exiles, who lost one competitive game all season, so probably the title went to the better team over the 22 game season.
Exiles have to thank Clive Maynard, the Exiles Umpire, who has turned out week after week to dispense the rules fairly and calmly, and without whom there would be no game.
Exiles: Fretter, Dorsett, Winter, Allen, James, Reeves, Freedman, Lister (c), Ross, Jones, White, Dill.