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Reading take England Hockey League championship in last gasp thriller

[img_assist|nid=3510|title=Champions|desc=Reading’s skipper Richard Springham holds aloft the England Hockey League championship trophy|link=popup|align=left|width=220|height=274]An Andy Watts goal from a corner after the final whistle sealed a dramatic 5-4 win for home side Reading in the England Hockey League championship game.

East Grinstead had raced away to a 3-1 lead early in the second half with two open play goals from Dave De Prez. First half open play goals had come from Nick Catlin for Reading after nine minutes and Mark Pearn for EG six minutes before the break.

Reading closed the gap to a single goal in the 49th minute with a Chris Newman goal. Their skipper Richard Springham then flicked high into the net from in close on a misfired corner routine in the 61st minute to level. But East Grinstead hit straight back through Darren Cheesman.

Reading’s fourth came from a muddle in the circle which saw a deflection which was scored as an own goal (Euro Hockey League rules were in force for the championships. That set the stage for the dramatic coup de grace. Richard Mantell flicked the corner high and hard and Watts was waiting for the rebound.

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