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Proud of cup run

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ROSS WARNES says Oxted must learn from their experience of a cup semi-final as they look to build on a positive year for the club.

The O's bowed out of the England Hockey Knockout Cup on Sunday after a 6-1 defeat at in-form Premier Division side Surbiton.

But the O's skipper said the club should be proud of their achievements, having gone as far as they had ever gone in the competition and been the last national league club standing at the semi-final stage.

And having secured their Men's Conference East safety for another year with a 2-2 draw at Cambridge City on Saturday, Warnes said there was much to build on for next season.

He said: "It has been a positive year and a really good experience.

"We want more of that and we will have to see how we fare over the summer in terms of recruitment.

"But we are definitely proud of our achievements, albeit slightly disappointed that we couldn't run Surbiton a little bit closer."

However, Warnes said there was no shame in losing to the in-form Surrey outfit, who recently beat Premier Division leaders Beeston and the current English champions Reading.

He said: "They have got one or two world class players and that is the kind of step up you get when you go from where we are around the middle to top of the national leagues, to the top two in the Premier League.

"They have recently beaten Beeston and they are a serious side with big ambitions to do well in the Premier League play-offs.

"But if we had been offered at the beginning of the year the chance to finish third or fourth in the league and reach the semi-final of the cup, we would have been pretty pleased."

Meanwhile, Warnes said the O's were now focused on ending their season on a high, with Oxted taking on Bromley & Beckenham in their final league fixture on Sunday.

And the stakes are still high, with the possibility of Oxted finishing anywhere from third to seventh in the division.

He said: "There is a big focus on this weekend and a big appetite to get behind the club and sign off the season in style.

"We have the ladies at home in their semi-final on Sunday and then our final home game too.

"We want to finish on a high and we are looking forward to the game.

"There are some close links between us and Bromley & Beckenham and we know they will be looking to avenge the two defeats we inflicted on them earlier in the season.

"But we want to finish the season well and then we can enjoy the summer and look ahead to next year."


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