Thu, 16 Apr 2015
HOCKEY: Newbury and Thatcham completed their grand snatch of the Middlesex, Berks, Bucks and Oxon Regional Two title after a 4-1 win at Bracknell on Saturday.
Neck-and-beck rivals Eastcote II could only scrape a 2-2 draw at Milton Keynes II to leave Newbury two points in the clear.
Eastcote went into the final day holding a narrow advantage on goal difference and they looked odds-on to be handed the crown after Newbury and Thatcham fell behind early on when
Bracknell won a short corner that was neatly converted on the deflection by striker Tom Warner, who had a spell at Henwick earlier in the season.
But as Bracknell began to fade, Newbury took charge and created a flurry of chances before
half-time before Martin Hitchcock’s powerful strike levelled the scores.
Vinny Butler was called into action after the break, most notably when he made a tremendous triple save from a short corner while Newbury spurned their best chance when Matt Hall was presented with a gaping goal but miscued his shot and it was cleared.
But it was not long before man of the match Mark Ferguson hammered home a bullet of a shot and the visitors went on to dominate the rest of the game despite a flurry of cards, including a yellow for Rich Johnson, and they scored two more goals.
Firstly Kevin Randall converted a penalty flick after he had been fouled when rounding the goalkeeper; and Hitchcock added his second from an impromptu short corner routine.
With the points secured, Newbury waited in the clubhouse for news from Milton Keynes that capped a memorable campaign for the predominantly young squad.