Splendid comeback win puts Saxons top

Tudor Stainsby takes a painful blow during South Saxons' victory over Hailsham on Saturday. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-151115-224553002)
Tudor Stainsby takes a painful blow during South Saxons' victory over Hailsham on Saturday. Picture by Simon Newstead (SUS-151115-224553002)
  • South Saxons win 4-3 at home to Hailsham
  • Victory over previous leaders puts Saxons top
  • Saxons recover from 3-1 down in first half
  • Coombs and Busbridge strike twice each
  • Saxons are only team in division still unbeaten
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South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team went top of the table after ending the 100% record of the previous leaders on Saturday.

Saxons came from 3-1 down to triumph 4-3 at home to Hailsham and are now the only team in Sussex Open Hockey League Division One yet to taste defeat.

In high winds and driving rain, Saxons fielded a much-changed side with injuries and work commitments accounting for key players. Conversely, Hailsham had strengthened with two England age group players.

Hailsham scored on the break in the first few minutes, but Saxons came roaring back a minute later as a pinpoint pass from Alex Coombs found skipper Jamie Busbridge, who rifled the ball home.

Saxons dominated most of the play, but were caught on the break as Hailsham took a 2-1 lead. After an injury to Toby Reed, Hailsham again scored on the break.

Saxons won a succession of short corners, though, and Coombs converted one of them with a smart drag flick to make it 3-2 at half time.

Into the second half and Coombs equalised from a short corner with one of the most powerful drag flicks seen at the ground. A Saxons player was hurt before play restarted in an incident not spotted by the umpires.

Saxons got the winner with a lovely passing move. Coombs, Paddy Cornish and Ed Hooton combined to present Busbridge, lunging in front of Chris Meredith, with the easiest of chances.

Saxons are away to fourth-placed Southwick this coming Saturday.

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