With second spot - and a potential promotion play-off against the runners-up in Kent - safely in the bag, South Saxons can focus on attempting to bridge a four-point deficit to leaders Horsham II over the final three games.
South Hockey League Sussex Area - Division One’s top two are due to meet in the last match of the season on March 31, but that will be academic if Horsham preserve their current 11-match winning run over the next two weekends.
With Horsham’s next two games away to fifth-placed Eastbourne II and at home to seventh-placed Hailsham, Saxons captain Paddy Cornish doesn’t envisage last season’s Sussex Open Hockey League Division One champions slipping up.
Cornish, pictured, said: “I think the chance might have gone, but we’ve got to keep pushing to try and win the rest of our games even if it shows the team (finishing second) in Kent we’re up for a fight.”
That will be no mean feat, however, because Saxons face a tough trip to third-placed Lewes III tomorrow (Saturday). The teams drew 2-2 in December’s reverse fixture and Saxons lost 2-1 at Lewes on the same weekend last year.
“It will definitely be a tough game,” added Cornish, who will return to the side. “When we played them at home they matched us all over the park. We can easily slip up there, but we will go there in high spirits.”
Title run-in: tomorrow (Saturday) - Eastbourne II v Horsham II; Lewes III v South Saxons. March 24 - Horsham II v Hailsham; South Saxons v Middleton & Bognor. March 31 - Horsham II v South Saxons.