HOCKEY: Hallett keeps poise

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The Independent Online
Rob Hallett, with just 40 seconds remaining, kept his feet and his sense of direction and purpose as all around him slipped and slithered to jab between the posts and give the Cheam President's XI a 1-0 victory over the Cheam club in the annual R L Hollands Memorial match at Peaches Close yesterday. The goal came after good right-wing approach work by East Grinstead's Danny Byfield.

Earlier, there had been misses at both ends as the players struggled to familiarise themselves with the natural-grass surface, which was well sodden by the continuous overnight rain.

With the President's side controlling the midfield, it was not surprising that they should create the larger share of the opportunities, mostly following their 11 penalty corners, but they were never to seriously challenge the club's goalkeeper, Mark Frost.

Nevertheless, the day's best chances, before the winning goal, fell to Cheam. Matt Miles, the President's goalkeeper, did well to save a deflection from his own full-back, David Justesen, who was making a welcome return to the game after a knee operationin the summer, from a shot by Gary Douglas that was going wide. Then came a terrible miss by Mark Flanagan who, after collecting a shrewd pass from Douglas, rounded Miles only to put his shot wide of the open goal from close range.

At the other end, a diving Chris Bull swept a Byfield shot off the line before Hallett's winning goal extended the Presidents' unbeaten record to 11 games.

Cheam: M Frost; N Martin (capt), R Harmer; A Nightingale, C Bull, K French; T Glasford, M Flanagan, G Douglas, G Jones, S Fernandes. Substitute used: A Cowell.

President's XI: M Miles (Surbiton); D Justesen (Surbiton), R Elmett (Richmond); W Davies (Wimbledon), G Marchant (Richmond), I Pinks (Sevenoaks, capt); P Mulligan (Old Walcountians), N Pendel (Chichester), J Molloy (Surbiton), M Allcock (Epsom), R Hallett (Old Walcountians). Substitute used: D Byfield (East Grinstead).

Umpires: D Ann and C Burton (both SCHUA).