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Triumph for Reading's hockey players – University of Reading

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Triumph for Reading's hockey players

Release Date 06 May 2005

hockey playersThe University of Reading's Men's Hockey 1st Team were in jubilant mood after overcoming the University of Gloucestershire to return to the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) Premier League South. Reading scored three goals to Gloucestershire's one goal. Following last season's relegation, Reading needed a season of complete professionalism to ensure that they bounced straight back. Ably steered by experienced captain Martin Fletcher, the side worked hard to get results against sides eager to play in the top flight. Reading topped the regional league as undefeated champions, winning every game on their way to the top and beating opposition from Portsmouth, Kingston, Imperial and Canterbury. This achievement put them into the play-off places where they drew Gloucestershire, who had finished top of the western league. The play-off took place on Wednesday 4 May and both sides had chances right from the whistle, with Reading being denied a penalty stroke appeal and only a fine stick save from a Gloucestershire penalty corner preventing Reading from going behind. The first break went Reading's way with a well-worked passage of play down the left completed with the ball being rolled past the Gloucestershire defence for Patrick Steen to score the opener at the far post. Reading looked stronger and stronger towards the end of the first half and Gloucestershire looked as though they were beginning to tire. However, a short break at half time brought both teams back out playing at the same speed and the crowd witnessed another stalemate for 15 minutes with chances at both ends producing superb saves from the goalkeepers. With 12 minutes to go, Reading looked to have the game secured when Ed Foster burst through the midfield and linked with the forwards to score an excellent team goal. Gloucestershire immediately responded with pressure on the Reading defence earning them a penalty corner - this time scoring with a good flick deflecting off the Reading goalkeeper and into the net. With the game opening up and pressure mounting from the Reading midfield, the game was sealed five minutes from time when a ball from Patrick Steen found Richard Wood running in from the right to lift the ball over the Gloucestershire goalkeeper. This result returns The University of Reading to the Premiership and playing against the top 12 Universities in the country, including Birmingham, Loughborough, Exeter and Bath. End For media enquiries, please contact Craig Hillsley on (tel) 0118 378 7388 or (email) c.hillsley@rdg.ac.uk

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