OLD Halesonians Hockey Club got their second win in as many weeks as they beat third placed Worcester in their penultimate game of the season.
Seventh-placed Hales will now battle it out with eighth-placed Burton this Saturday in the season’s finale, and with a league restructure on the cards it could be winner takes all as teams continue to fight for their survival by finishing as high up the table as possible.
Old Hales got off to a good start despite the poor weather conditions. Their strike force had chances to open the scoring, but their shots fell just wide. Their persistence paid off, however, but it was defender Ben Hughes who created the opener when Hales were awarded a penalty stroke. Hughes received the ball wide in the area, and after his initial shot was saved by the Worcester keeper, he saw his second flick at the open goal deflected wide by a defenders leg. A penalty stroke was duly awarded and Tom Bulteel flicked the ball hard into the net to make it 1-0.
Before the break Hales were able to double their lead following a trademark counter attack. Paul Harrold found himself one-on-one with the Worcester goalkeeper and his miss-hit effort somehow found the goal.
Worcester started the second half the strongest and dominated possession. They finally got a breakthrough from a penalty corner, which was drag flicked past the Hales defensive line. Worcester continued to pressurise the hosts defence, but it stood strong, and despite several penalty corners the visitors were unable to draw level. Hales soaked up the pressure and again struck on the counter, winning a penalty corner that Paul Woodall dispatched.