'6Michael DarlingM. Darling
'12Harry MacMahonH. MacMahon
'20Tom SorsbyT. Sorsby
'26Luke TaylorL. Taylor
'30Luke TaylorL. Taylor
'35David GoodfieldD. Goodfield
'47Tom SorsbyT. Sorsby
'53Ben WalkerB. Walker
'54Alan ForsythA. Forsyth
Ranking match: Three Rock Rovers 1 Surbiton 4 (1-2)
Surbiton finished off their EHL campaign with a composed 4-1 win over Three Rock Rovers to earn ranking points for England that could well assure them of a place in next year’s competition.
They fell behind early in the game when Jody Hosking’s powerful backhand cross found Mitch Darling at the back post where he controlled and thrashed by Harry Gibson’s defences.
Luke Taylor swapped the lead by half-time, though, as he fired home two penalty corners by Jamie Carr – who impressed in goal – as the English side began to take control.
From 2-1 at half-time, David Goodfield whipped home another from play before Alan Forsyth showed lovely hands to make it 4-1 late in the game.
Reflecting on the weekend, Surbiton coach Mark Pearn said: “It was very tough; I felt we played very well in both games.
“To come back from the disappointment of the Waterloo Ducks game, I am really proud of what the guys did and the way they approached the game. Mentally, they are in a strong place and I think they just wanted to finish the season well.”
Surbiton finished second in their English championship playoffs, having won the regular season. It gives them the second English spot in Europe next season.
Winning this ranking match gives them an extra boost in terms of taking a likely place in the EHL next season for the KO16 in Barcelona.
Pearn is keen to see his side develop further and push for the KO8 and FINAL4 stages.
“Since Wednesday, we spent the last 48 hours thinking what do we need to do to be at this level. It’s difficult because our league isn’t as strong as the Belgian, German and Dutch leagues.
“It’s difficult for us to play against high ranking opposition and different styles. We’ve to set our standards really high throughout the season but that’s definitely our focus.
“The guys have had a real taste of the level and that’s the standard we have to set to compete with, basically, professional sides within an amateur set-up.
“Our internationals love playing for their club side and for the non-internationals, this is the highlight of their season. You only have to watch the standard of the matches; it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t take that step this year but we will have the opportunity next year to go one step further.”
They are also in a rare position as one of the clubs this season with both men’s and women’s sides playing in the top tier in Europe.
“It’s a very special club. We have about 1,000 juniors and there has been great support for us out here. The men and women are certainly driving us on and I know the women will definitely be looking forward to savouring this atmosphere.”