Old Loughtonians have it all to play for after opening weekend of National Hockey Fives Championship Division One

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: HOCKEY: Loughts in the balance HOCKEY: Loughts in the balance

Old Loughtonians men’s indoor season remains firmly in the balance after the first weekend of the National Hockey Fives Championship Division One ended with them sitting fourth in the table, still in sight of both promotion and relegation.

In a tight first match against Havant, Loughts managed to hang on for a 5-4 win thanks to a hat-trick from Xavi Artigas and goals from George Farrant and Stuart Hardy.

Another close game followed against Brooklands with Loughts sneaking an 8-7 victory as Liam Doidge held his nerve to convert a penalty flick with 30 seconds left on the clock.

James Southgate and Conor Caplan also grabbed a brace each with George Farrant adding another fine goal.

Farrant also featured strongly for Loughts in their match against Cannock, scoring alongside Southgate and Stuart Hardy.

However it was not enough to secure the win as Loughts lost 5-3 against their outdoor Premier League opponents.

The final game of the weekend saw Old Loughts face off against Bourneville, a team they had knocked out of the EH Outdoor National Cup Competition.

Loughts started badly, going 2-0 down in the first two minutes but they regrouped, adjusting their formation and the score was soon back to 2-2.

Both teams continued to attack strongly with goals aplenty but defensive errors allowed Bourneville to eventually run out 7-4 winners.

The ladies are top of the Division Two South table after registering four wins and just one loss.

A strong 2-1 victory over fellow high-flyers Ipswich gave Loughts the best possible start but a narrow 4-3 defeat to Horsham followed.

There was another victory in the third match though, as Loughts put six past Trojans to win 6-2.

Looking to secure a second weekend of competition in Division Two, Loughts recorded a confident 4-0 victory over St Albans and fought hard to overcome Holcombe 4-3.

Loughts, along with the second and third-placed teams, now face the top three equivalent in the North Division – Army Ladies, Oxford Hawks and Stourport – on January 18 and 19.

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