Deller- Merricks completes remarkable comeback for relegation battlers

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Mike Deller-Merricks scored a last-gasp equaliser as Eastbourne Men’s 1s completed an incredible comeback to draw 3-3 with Spencer Men’s 1s at The Saffrons.

Eastbourne were 3-0 down after just 25 minutes before Alex Barnes managed to grab one back before the break.

Deller-Merricks took the score to 3-2 straight after the restart and completed the fight-back in the dying seconds to earn Eastbourne a valuable point.

Manager David Adelston said, “It was an encouraging performance.

“We’re very happy with the comeback and there were exceptional performances from Rob Cornell and Chris Borsoi.”

Eastbourne face Old Georgians this weekend, who ended the unbeaten run Eastbourne enjoyed earlier this season after beating Banbury and drawing with Spencer, just as they have done these past two weeks.

“We’re stronger and wiser now,” Adelston said. “The players are starting to realise that you pay for mistakes in this relentless league.”

The men’s 2s had a walkover last weekend as they recorded a 5-0 victory over East Grinstead, who couldn’t field a full side. They’ll be expecting a tougher test when they travel to Hailsham Men’s 1s this weekend.

The Ladies 1s lost 3-0 to Surbiton Ladies 2s while Eastbourne Ladies 2s drew 2-2 with Crawley Ladies 1s.

Brighton & Hove Men’s 3rds 4,

Hailsham Men’s 1sts 3

A HAT-TRICK from George Cyster wasn’t enough to prevent Hailsham being narrowly beaten on Saturday.

Fielding only the bare 11 players, seventh-placed Hailsham made a poor start in bitter conditions and went a goal down early on in their latest South Hockey League Sussex Area - Division One fixture.

Hailsham fought back, though, and won a succession of short corners thanks to good work from Dan Ivemy and Rob Lee. Cyster turned in a venomous flick from stand-in central midfielder Sam Headey to draw them level.

Just before the end of the half Hailsham lost concentration and the home side took advantage to grab the lead once more, but Hailsham equalised again in the second half when Cyster buried a rebound from Lee Humber’s strike.

With the match becoming a midfield battle, Brighton took the lead for the third time with two quick goals. And despite a last minute penalty flick from Cyster to complete his hat-trick, Hailsham couldn’t draw level.

Hailsham Men’s 2nds 5,

Eastbourne Men’s 5ths 2

Hailsham dominated this friendly local derby, but twice slipped up through a lack of marking to allow Eastbourne two goals.

Hailsham’s chances were taken by Micky Buckingham with two great short corner strikes and a further short corner goal from Kim Cyster.

In open play Mark Patton scored again and Ian Johnson marked his comeback from a 10-week injury lay-off with a good strike to rattle the backboard.

Hailsham Ladies 1sts 2,

Horsham Ladies 4ths 0

Hailsham Ladies continued their stranglehold on the top of the table with a workmanlike 2-0 win.

In a slow and sometimes turgid Sussex Ladies League Division One game, Hailsham controlled the midfield and offered few opportunities to their opponents.

Despite earning at least 10 penalty corners, Hailsham’s usual routines could not find their way through the Horsham defence and it took two well-taken goals in open play from Sue Cable and Katie James to seal the points.

The good news for Hailsham was the return of Sarah Haird after the previous weekend’s head injury and her midfield workrate, along with that of Lyndsey Horne, contributed significantly to another victory.

Closest rivals Burgess Hill maintained the pressure by beating Eastbourne Swifts, keeping the gap between the two teams at nine points with Burgess Hill still having three games in hand.

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