The Bees in action against Reading at Lee Valley. Photo c/o Iain McAuslan
England Hockey Men’s Cup Final
Reading 2 – 2 Beeston
7th May, Lee Valley Tennis and Hockey Centre
- Beeston – Hibell (42 FG), Lawrence (44 FG)
- Reading – Morton (9 PC), Boon (68 PC)
Article – England Hockey.
Reading 2 (Morton 9 (PC), Boon (68 (PC))
Beeston 2 (Hibell 42 (FG), Lawrence (44 (FG))
Reading win 4-2 on shootout
Reading retained their England Hockey Men’s Tier 1 Championship Cup with a dramatic win against Beeston at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
Trailing 2-1 with two minutes to go, the Berkshire side went to a kicking back and it paid dividends, Ben Boon scoring from a penalty corner to take the game to a shootout.
Jason Lee’s men scored all four of their efforts in the shootout, and when Robbie Gleeson’s effort went narrowly wide, victory was secured for Reading.
Both sides more than played their part in a cracking game; Lee Morton opening the scoring for Reading with an early thunderbolt, only for Elliot Hibell and Richard Lawrence to give Beeston the lead.
But Reading’s late show turned the game in their favour, and both sides deserve credit for putting on a very good display of top class hockey at a sweltering Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
Reading were quickly ahead in the game, Lee Morton lashing home an absolute thunderbolt into the top corner from a corner in the ninth minute. Beeston offered their protests to the umpires but they were waved away, and Scottish international Morton had a great strike to his name.
Despite Reading’s early goal, Beeston kept the game a tight contest, and both goalkeepers Tommy Alexander and Simon Hujwan were called into action before the half time interval.
Ben Boon and Morton were looking lively for the cup holders, but it remained 1-0 at the break.
Into the second period and soon enough Beeston finally found a way past Alexander in the Reading goal. First Elliot Hibell turned home tidily on 42 minutes, and just two minutes later Richard Lawrence put his side in front with an excellent sliding finish at the back post.
It was then Reading’s turn to swing the game’s momentum in their favour, and James Carson had a great chance that went just wide.
With just a few minutes to go, coach Jason Lee removed his goalkeeper to go to a kicking back, and at a penalty corner Richard Mantell found Ben Boon, who deflected home crucially.
And so a shootout was required, with Reading scoring all four efforts in some style through James Carson, Ciaron O’Connell, Morton and Owain Dolan Gray. Lucas Alcalde and Chris Proctor netted for Beeston, but Gareth Griffiths’ saved effort meant Robbie Gleeson needed to score, and when his effort went wide into the side netting, Reading were able to celebrate another very successful cup campaign.