Hockey: Hampstead & Westminster reach Super 6s in style
PUBLISHED: 13:45 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:58 11 January 2019
Hampstead & Westminster's men qualified for the Jaffa Super 6s finals in superb style after winning all eight of their qualifying matches.
And what makes their achievement all the more remarkable is the fact this was their first year in the Premier Indoor League competition, following two successive promotions over the past two years.
They began their quest in mid-December with 6-2 win over Surbiton, as Kei Kaeppeler and Richard Smith scored twice each, with Anton Pohling and Sam Ward also on target.
Captain Marc Edwards, Pohling, Kaeppeler and Kyle White all bagged braces in a 10-0 romp against Brooklands MU, with Sam French and Ward completing the double-digit haul, before Hampstead edged out Wimbledon by a 7-5 margin.
Smith scored a first-half hat-trick as the sides shared six goals and struck again in the second period, alongside goals from White (2) and Pohling to record a third straight win.
Hampstead then ended a fine first weekend of action with a 6-4 victory over Team Bath Buccaneers, with Ward helping himself to a hat-trick as Pohling (2) and Edwards added to their own tallies.
The second weekend of action at Bromsgrove began with a 10-3 win over Holcombe, with Hampstead led by four-goal Kaeppeler.
Smith struck twice, with Edwards, Pohling, White and Ward all back in the scoring groove, before Canterbury were also put to the sword in a 10-1 romp.
Ward was the chief destroyer this time with a stunning six-goal return, as Pohling struck twice and Smith and White also got in on the act.
Sunday saw Hampstead run out 9-4 winners over Sevenoaks, with Pohling hitting four goals and Ward adding another hat-trick.
Smith and Toby Roche completed the haul this time, before Hampstead completed their schedule with their toughest match of all against East Grinstead.
Kaeppeler, White and Ward netted in the first half, which ended all square at 3-3, before Chris Cargo and Pohling (2) struck in the space of three minutes at the start of the second half to put them on top.
Ward made it 7-3 with his second goal of the game, but EG rallied through Dominic Bowden and Ashley Jackson – who struck twice to complete his hat-trick – only to have a last-gasp effort ruled out by officials.
Hampstead topped the group as a result of their 100 per cent record, with Ward topping their scoring charts with 17 goals, ahead of Pohling (15) and Smith (10).
And they will meet EG in the semi-finals at the Copper Box Arena on Sunday January 27, while Surbiton and Sevenoaks go head-to-head in the other tie.
See englandhockey.co.uk for ticket information.
Hampstead: Toby Reynolds-Cotterill (GK, 8 games), Richard Smith (7 games/10 goals), James Oates (4), Marc Edwards (8/4), Toby Roche (8/1), Chris Cargo (4/1), Anton Pohling (8/15), Sam French (4/1), Kwan Browne (8), Lekan Ogunlana (GK, 5), Kyle White (8/7), Kei Kaeppeler (8/9), Sam Ward (8/17).