Old Loughtonians men secure last-gasp victory to avoid relegation from National Indoor Division One

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: HOCKEY: Loughts survive indoor scare HOCKEY: Loughts survive indoor scare

Old Loughtonians men retained their National Indoor Division One status after finishing seventh overall following tight competition at the weekend.

Following on from the previous week’s exploits where six points were recorded with two wins and two defeats, Loughts knew both promotion and relegation were still a possibility.

Saturday didn’t get off to the best of starts however as Loughts lost 10-4 to Surbiton despite Arol Artigas claiming three goals.

An incredible encounter then saw Loughts throw away a strong lead before finally clawing back a 7-7 draw against Southgate.

Conor Caplan hit two goals in three minutes early on before George Farrant and Liam Doidge added to the score.

Unforced errors allowed Southgate to turn the game on its head and it needed Loughts captain James Southgate to score an impressive late goal to seal a draw.

With any lingering hopes of promotion all but ended, Loughts were fighting for survival on Sunday and again the first game ended in defeat as they lost 10-8 to Team Bath Buccaneers.

Tom Watson scored twice within the first seven minutes and completed his hat-trick in the second half.

Caplan also added two more to his tally but Loughts ultimately paid the price for defensive errors.

With the pressure mounting, Loughts saved their best until last as they thrashed fellow strugglers Hampstead and Westminster 8-0 to secure survival.

Caplan helped himself to two more goals and Stu Hardy pick pocketed a defender twice to net twice while there were also braces from Southgate and Farrant.

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