Scorers: Bean x3, Vaughan, Boyne, Laslett
The final game of the season still had something on it with a slim chance of going up still possible. A loss for Reading and a result bigger than 9-0 for Canterbury would have secured promotion.
The game started well and the home side found themselves in the ascendancy with some fast paced hockey and slick movement of the ball.
On 10 minutes, the first penalty corner of the day was put agonisingly wide by Toby Vaughan, on the hunt for his one customary goal of the season from 3 yards out… more on than later.
Shortly after, another corner for Canterbury which was dispatched by Tom Bean, flicking high to the keepers left.
As the second quarter got under way, already relegated Havant found a foot hole and began to look dangerous on the break and they won a couple of penalty corners of their own in quick succession.
The first was snuffed out by Eddie ‘bookend’ Rowney, who was in the net for the opening game of the season and again for the final game. The second however did find its way into the Canterbury net, making the scores level perhaps arguably against the run of play.
In a first-half of penalty corners, Bean got his name on the scoresheet again via another, as did Toby Vaughan who did this time get his one customary goal of the season from 3 yards out. Ever the exhibitionist, Toby trotted back to the half-way line with little more than a quick smirk in the way of a celebration.
At half-time, Canterbury knew the next goal would be important as Havant continued to pose a threat but equally, if there were any chance of promotion, more goals were needed!
And more goals they got… chances a plenty began to rain down on the Havant goal with multiple balls flashing wide of the far post before it did eventually find its way into the net. Coach Boyne was on hand to turn it home after a truly non-league goal mouth scramble, the kind you’d expect to see on a twitter feed called ‘@Rubbish90sFootball’, to make the score 4-1.
More excitement was to come as Canterbury got their fifth thanks to a familiar Polo Farm name finishing off a wonder goal to really please the crowd. Alex Laslett broke with the ball on the right hand side of the field and drove along the baseline, sold the keeper to drag him off his goal line before coolly slipping it down his left foot and into the goal from the tightest of angles for a goal worthy of a final day in the sunshine in front of a packed Polo Farm.
Still the team pressed for more but in their eagerness, left themselves vulnerable on the counter and Havant did manage to pull a goal back.
Another corner came for Canterbury and this time saw Ben Young take the reigns on top of the circle who flicked it hard into the post man… a braver man than this writer to wear that one and for his efforts, he gave away a penalty stroke – one of hockeys crueler rules but entertaining nonetheless.
With Bean watching on from the sidelines, Ben Young stepped up for the stroke which was well-saved from the keeper.
In the final minutes, Bean did complete his final day hat trick with a third penalty corner to make the final score 6-2.
The news that Reading had won 4-2 filtered through which put paid to any hopes of promotion for Canterbury but the final game performance and score line was one to be proud of, securing second place, just three points off of top spot.
After the game, the club congratulated David Bunyan on his final game coaching the first team after being a long servant to the club… not one for fuss, we know, but our thanks go out to him for all the work he’s done over the years.