Hockey: Canterbury's sad tale of two balls

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The Independent Online
By Bill Colwill

CANNOCK will play Beeston in the first all-Midland Cup final on 5 April at Milton Keynes after defeating Canterbury 3-2 in extra time and controversial circumstances yesterday. The goal with which Cannock took the lead in normal time was scored while there were two balls in play, but Canterbury's protests were turned down.

Cannock, who had beaten Southgate 6-1 in the league on Saturday, found themselves trailing in a frenetic cup tie when David Matthews scored at their sixth penalty corner with Kalbir Takher equalising from Chris Mayer's cross five minutes before the interval. In the second half, play was switched from where Paul Wicken missed an open goal for Canterbury to the opposite end where Bobby Crutchley dived in to touch home Ben Sharpe's cross despite two balls being in play at the time.

Straight from the restart Dave Hacker equalised with a penalty stroke, but in a frantic finale Craig Parnham scored the winner at the end of the first period of extra time.

In the other semi-final at Beeston, non-league Chichester opened the scoring through Andy Richards at a penalty corner but Beeston ran out 6-2 winners with four goals in 12 second-half minutes when the Australian Craig Keegan scored twice.

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