Havant survive thanks to a great escape

113775-364_HAV_HOCKEY_SR_22/10/11'Asction from Havant HC vs Fareham  in the E H L Conference West at Havant College.'Fareham keeper George HArris saves at the feet of Havant's Ben MacKey.''Picture:Steve Reid 113775-364
113775-364_HAV_HOCKEY_SR_22/10/11'Asction from Havant HC vs Fareham in the E H L Conference West at Havant College.'Fareham keeper George HArris saves at the feet of Havant's Ben MacKey.''Picture:Steve Reid 113775-364
Matt Cox scored for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland

Havant give leaders Exeter a big scare

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Havant pulled off the great escape in the Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships – preserving their division one status in thrilling style on Sunday.

After losing all of their first four games in the national indoor competition the previous weekend, Havant were staring relegation in the face.

Peter Nail’s side were chasing at least two victories from their final four encounters to climb out of the bottom-two.

But they couldn’t have started the weekend at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in much more impressive fashion.

Their comprehensive 11-3 hammering of fellow-strugglers Stourport on Saturday ignited their survival bid.

Later that day, they followed the result up by registering an excellent 6-6 draw with high-flying St Albans to remain in with a fighting chance going into Sunday’s matches.

Barford Tigers were the first opponents on the following day in a crunch encounter.

And another superb performance saw the Havant men take a crucial 7-4 victory.

Despite a 5-1 defeat to Doncaster in their final game, Havant finished two points clear of the division one relegation zone – consigning Barford and Stourport to the dreaded drop.

As reported, Havant endured a tough opening weekend to the competition – losing to Bournville, Loughborough Students, Brooklands and Hampstead & Westminster.

England under-18 outdoor star Ben Mackey had been the side’s star in the first round of matches, scoring seven times in total.

In the final reckoning, Loughborough Students overhauled St Albans to finish the weekend at the top of the division.

Doncaster won all four of their games over the weekend to also jump ahead of the Hertfordshire team, and gain promotion to the premier division.

With division one safety achieved, Havant now turn their attentions back to the outdoor league season and a home clash with Team Bath Buccaneers on February 5.

n Elsewhere, Chichester’s second team powered on at the top of Hampshire/Surrey Regional League division two.

The West Sussex outfit crushed City of Portsmouth 8-2.

In Hampshire League division one, Fareham’s third team thrashed Trojans II 4-0, while rock-bottom Havant III had their clash at Southampton University postponed.

In the second flight, Portsmouth & Southsea drew 2-2 in their derby with Gosport.

In division four, the title hopes of league leaders University of Portsmouth were dealt a blow as they were convincingly hammered 5-0 by City of Portsmouth II.

Meanwhile, Fareham fifths were 4-3 victors over Southampton’s third team.