READING Men retained England Hockey’s Tier 1 Cup by beating Beeston in a dramatic fashion at Lee Valley on Monday, writes Dave Wright.

The Blues were trailing 2-1 two minutes from time, but Ben Boon snatched a late equaliser and they went on to win the penalty shoot-out 4-2.

They had gone ahead after nine minutes through Lee Morton following a penalty corner, the Scotland forward smashing the ball from the left of the circle into the top right-hand corner.

Morton and Boon continued to cause Bees problems, but the Blues also came under pressure themselves.

Keeper Tommy Alexander kept them at bay until the 42nd minute when Elliot Hibell equalised and two minutes later the Scotland keeper was beaten again, this time by Richard Lawrence, both goals coming from Chris Proctor left-wing crosses.

Reading battled back and the sliding James Carson wasn’t far away from levelling the scores.

With four minutes left on the clock, coach Jason Lee took off Alexander to go with a kicking back.

And the move paid off as Blues forced a penalty corner which saw Rick Mantell’s shot deflected home by Boon at the right post.

In the penalty shoot-out, Reading netted all four efforts in some style through Carson, Ciaron O’Connell, Morton and Owain Dolan Gray.

Lucas Alcalde and Chris Proctor scored for Beeston, but Alexander denied Gareth Griffiths and Robbie Gleeson could only find the side netting.

The victory meant Mantell brought down the curtain on his 15-year career at Sonning Lane with another winner’s medal.

“It was a great way to finish my final season,” said the former GB and England international.

But there was no national glory for Reading Rockets, as they lost 5-2 to Repton in the Investec Women’s Tier 3 final at Lee Valley on Saturday.

They trailed 3-0 in the first half, but after the break they came out all guns blazing and Holly Raby went close before opening their account through Emma Dawson in the 43rd minute.

After conceding a fourth goal, Jessica Mann scored a second for Reading on 47 minutes, only to see Repton add their fifth with Lucy Scott just failing to add a third for Reading in the closing stages.

Blues’ cause was not helped by committing two offences in as many minutes with Raby getting a yellow card and Ross Shannon a green.

Reading girls play Ben Rhydding in the national Under 18 final at Lee Valley on Sunday.