[img_assist|nid=7870|title=CHAMPIONS:|desc=Beeston celebrate the 2013 title – Photo: Ady Kerry|link=node|align=right|width=220|height=167]READING, April 14 – Beeston were crowned as champions of the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League after beating Surbiton 5-1 in the final at Reading Hockey Club. The Nottinghamshire club took home the £2,500 winner’s cheque and Adam Dixon, NOW:Pensions player of the season lifted the trophy.
Wimbledon and Sheffiled Hallam secured promotion to the premier division. Southgate are relegated. Reading secured England’s third European place with a 4-0 win over Canterbury.
Beeston were runaway leaders of the premier division, comfortably making it through to the Finals Weekend and qualifying for Europe. They were taken to a sudden death penalty shuttles by Reading in the semi-finals on Saturday but, after coming through that test, they shone once again as they faced Surbiton.
Martin Jones gave Beeston the lead on nine minutes, collecting the ball before thrashing his shot into the roof of the goal from inside the D. Beeston soon doubled the advantage as a great ball played across the front of the goal was tapped in by Ollie Willars in the 14th minute. Straight from the restart, Surbiton opened their account as James Tindall found the target with a neat reverse stick shot. Beeston soon re-established a two-goal lead. Although Surbiton keeper David Kettle got a pad to Craig Boyne’s shot, he couldn’t keep it out and Beeston went 3-1 up.
There was still more to come from Beeston and goal machine Simon Egerton finally got his name on the score sheet as he found the bottom corner to make it 4-1 at the break. Although Surbiton came out all guns blazing in the second half, Beeston held firm and didn’t offer them a way back into the game. Then, with two minutes left on the clock, Boyne hit his second and Beeston’s fifth to seal the title.
After the win, Beeston goalkeeper George Pinner said: “After topping the league table this was our game to lose coming into today but this was a great result and it gives us a lot of pleasure. Surbiton have been the in-form team since Christmas so we knew it would be tough today. But we played well and it’s great to come through with victory and take the title. The Beeston fans have been fantastic and it’s so good to have so many of them down here this weekend.”
David Ames won the Man of the Match Award as voted for by the media.
Surbiton will be hoping their women’s team will go one step better in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Finals at Reading Hockey Club next weekend.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Finals Weekend results
Sun 7 April 13:00 Play-Off 1 – Southgate 1 Sheffield Hallam 3
Sun 7 April 15:00 Play-Off 2 – Cardiff & UWIC 1 Wimbledon 4 Sat 13 April 11:00 Play-Off 3 – Wimbledon 3 Southgate 5
Sat 13 April 13:00 Play-Off 4 – Sheffield Hallam 4 v Cardiff UWIC 4 Sat 13 April 15:15 Semi-Final 1 – Beeston 2 Reading 2 4-3 (pens)
Sat 13 April 17:30 Semi-Final 2 – Surbiton 5 Canterbury 2
Sun 14 April 10:00 Play-Off 5 – Cardiff & UWIC 2 Southgate 1
Sun 14 April 12:00 Play-Off 6 – Wimbledon 2 Sheffield Hallam 1
Sun 14 April 14:45 3rd/4th Reading 4 Canterbury 0
Sun 14 April 17:15 Final Beeston 5 Surbiton 1