South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team scored four goals in the opening 20 minutes en route to a convincing away victory.
Saxons went on to defeat Canterbury Pilgrims 6-3 on Saturday and move into South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2’s top five.
Despite a delayed journey to see the cathedral and subsequently a late warm-up, Saxons came out of the blocks hard and fast, playing some of their best hockey of the season.
Donning their red change strip, Saxons got off to a flyer as George Eldridge slotted a drag flick into the bottom corner.
Saxons’ lead was doubled when the enigmatic Alex Coombs sent the goalkeeper the wrong way with a penalty flick after a mazy Andrew Acott run from the right baseline.
An outstanding spell of passing between Sam Bunday and Eldridge frustrated Canterbury, and eventually Chris Meredith broke through on the left and the ball ended up on the stick of Acott, who finished coolly to make it 3-0.
Meredith then combined with his brother Jon Meredith, who guided the ball into the net, illustrating his cricketing capabilities in the process.
The Hastings men were unlucky to concede in the first half, with Mike Sutton resilient between the posts, but a 4-1 half time lead left them confident going into the second half.
Eldridge finished another short with aplomb to make it 5-1 as Saxons again started the half quickly, but a lapse in concentration allowed Canterbury two goals in quick succession and the tension was tangible.
Saxons kept their composure, though, with the trio of Gavin Cload, Paddy Cornish and Jon Meredith working tirelessly in the midfield.
Despite a couple of green cards, Saxons kept pushing and eventually won another short corner, which Eldridge dispatched to complete his hat-trick.
Despite a late Canterbury surge, Saxons held strong and came away with a well-deserved win. The matchball was sponsored by El Paso restaurants.
Saxons, for whom Jamie Busbridge worked his socks off throughout and was unlucky not to get a goal, are on their travels again this coming Saturday, against seventh-placed Southwick.