Hockey: Pearn's potent spells

MARK PEARN, with two inspirational spells, clinched a place for the defending champions, Reading, in their final game in the National Indoor Club Preliminary round as they beat Old Loughtonians 6-3 at Cocks Moors Woods, Birmingham.

Pearn scored twice in an opening 13-minute spell to put Reading ahead and made a third for Manpreet Kochar. After the interval when, Old Loughtonians had drawn level at 3-3 following two goals inside a minute from Ian Jennings, Pearn burst into action again with two more goals to see Reading through.

Loughborough Students, during their opening game against Reading, heard the good news that their outdoor Cup game at Bowdon had again fallen foul of the weather and they would be able to remain at the Indoor with a full squad. They then beat Norton 7-3 to take their points tally to nine but then had to hang around waiting for the results of the last two games.

Had Reading lost to Old Loughtonians the students would have qualified; a win for Firebrands and Southgate would mean failure.

As it was Southgate, with the Germans Eiko Rott scoring three times and Torben Gottschau four, coasted home 11-2 and the students missed out on goal difference.

In the second pool at Kidderminster, East Grinstead carried all before them with Barford Tigers and Hull joining them for finals night.

In the rearranged fourth-round Cup games Cannock, with Bobby Crutchley scoring twice, beat Harrogate 6-0 while in the women's competition there were 5-1 wins for Leicester at home to Sheffield and Clifton Scottish Life away to Dulwich.

Sue Holwell scored three times for Leicester with Denise Marston-Smith and Isabel Palmer collecting two each for Clifton.

The Hightown-Sherwood game was abandoned after 32 minutes because of a frozen pitch and Slough's game at Blackburn Northern was called off for the second time because of a frozen pitch.

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