HOCKEY : Cambridge sunk by last-gasp Navy

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Cambridge University 1

Royal Navy 2

James Dean, with a superbly struck penalty-corner shot three minutes from time, gave the Royal Navy a rare 2-1 win over Cambridge University. the Cambridge coach, John Cadman, and the captain, Tom McCarthy, have much to think about as the university starts its final run-in to the Varsity match at Reading later this month.

For large parts of the game, the students had dominated the midfield and had the bulk of possession, but with the exception of last season's captain, Milo Carver, they had no one prepared to shoot, and yesterday was just not Carver's day.

It might have been different for Cambridge had McCarthy not fired a penalty stroke high and wide in the 19th minute. Mel Ragnauth, a fresher who had caused the Navy all sorts of problems down Cambridge's left wing, had moved in to follow up on Carver's hard shot when his stick was chopped to win the award.

Cambridge, resting in the lower reaches of the Norwich Union East Premier League, needed that goal to give them confidence. Relieved by the let-off, the Navy bounced back, with Mark McLintock driving them on in midfield to win three penalty corners.

When Luke Watson's shot from the third was blocked by Doug Lynch but not cleared, Scott Mitchell was on hand to follow up, and put the Navy into an interval lead. Cambridge, with Carver now operating mostly down the right wing, dominated the game, and itwas no surprise when Carver converted their fifth penalty corner in the 50th minute.

Only brave goalkeeping from David Atkins in the Navy goal and the insipid Cambridge shooting, Carver excepted, prevented the students taking the lead, until, on a rare breakaway, the Navy forced a penalty corner and Dean answered the call. Adding insult to Cambridge's injury, the Navy had been beaten 3-2 by Oxford University on Monday.

Cambridge University: D Lynch (Gonville & Caius); C Carter (Girton); D Churton (St Catharines), D Harding (Robinson), R Cake (St John's); A Sainsbury ( Pembroke), T McCarthy (St John's, capt), F Schutten (Queens); S Warren (Emmanuel); M Carver ( Hughes Hall), M Ragnauth (Trinity Hall).

Royal Navy: D Atkins; A Barber; M Wessen, J Dean, D Beaudro; M McLintock, P Reidy, S Mitchell; J Moseley, L Watson (capt), R Pettitt. Substitutes used: N Wastilow and B Thorp.

Umpires: B Anderson and B Matson (CSHUA).