Seconds clinch title but Potters Bar Hockey Club's first team face anxious wait over East League fate
PUBLISHED: 14:45 27 March 2019
There would have been plenty of celebrations for Potters Bar Hockey Club as the club hailed their newest champions.
The men’s second team took a 4-1 win over Broxbourne to clinch the East League Division Four South West title.
Ajay Patel, Nick Umney, Sam Penn and James McCormick got the goals as Bar topped the table by three points from St Albans 4ths.
But while that was clear cut, there is nothing near as certain for the first team who suffered a 2-1 loss at home to Cambridge City.
That does mean they finish eighth in Division One and outside of the bottom four but due to the restructure of the leagues, and the unconfirmed adjustments that may be brought in, the Dame Alice Owen’s based side now face an anxious wait to see which league they will play in next year.
A win could have made life a little easier so the joy of an opening goal after just 85 seconds was understandable.
Mark Turpin started the move by robbing a defender deep inside his own half and a pass to Harvey Edwards allowed the youngster to squeeze the ball under the Cambridge keeper.
Bar were quickly on the back foot though as their goal led a charmed life in the opening 10 minutes.
Ben Balmforth was twice called into action to make key saves and when he was beaten by a shot from just inside the D, the ball cannoned back off the crossbar.
They survived that spell and looked to be coming back into it when a low finish was neatly played beyond the Bar keeper for a City equaliser.
The second period had Bar in control for large parts and Turpin was denied twice in quick succession while a lifted effort from Miles Tomkins just cleared the bar.
At the other end Balmforth made another good save and Josh Edge had to clear one off the line.
But the breakthrough went to the visitors on 55 minutes with a strike from a short corner.
Bar were stirred into action and Ray Li had a low drive well-saved by the keeper while a number of short corner chances went begging.
And although they employed Hugh Kenney-Herbert as a kicking back late on, they couldn’t find an equaliser.
Across in the ladies’ section the first team suffered a 1-0 defeat to 5 Counties Premier Division leaders Berkhamsted Hemel despite the best efforts of Caroline Pickersgill.
They finish their season at home to West Herts on Saturday.