Hockey: Sharpe makes a point as Cannock ride high

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The Independent Online

Ben Sharpe strengthened his case for a return to international hockey since the Sydney Olympics with a hat-trick as Cannock beat Hampstead and Westminster. Yesterday's 5-2 win consolidated Cannock's second place, secured on Saturday with a fortuitous 3-2 win against struggling Southgate.

Cannock were trailing the relegation candidates 0-2 with nine minutes remaining when a third Southgate goal from John Bell was disallowed. Reprieved, Cannock recovered to score three times in the final six minutes to move behind the runaway leaders, Reading.

Ken Robinson celebrated his recall for New Zealand with his 13th goal of the season for Reading and, with Scott Ashdown adding a second, the Berkshire side beat Guildford 2-1 to remain eight points clear at the top.

Teddington's poor corner drill and a string of fine saves from Old Loughtonians' George Harris provided an entertaining 2-2 draw at Chigwell. The Old Boys twice came from behind, with the winner coming five minutes from time from Owen Griffiths-Jones.

Loughborough Students were the day's top scorers, with braces from Tim Benford and Paul Wicken in their 8-2 victory over Canterbury. In the Second Division, the leaders, Belper trounced Bromley 7-1.