Defeat would have left Invicta, runners-up to Manchester in last season’s Super 5s, struggling to make the cut this time. Even now, there’s still no guarantee they will manage it. But this result is a huge boost before tomorrow’s final Division 1 game against Polytechnic.
The lead changed hands several times and Cheltenham, who had 42-year-old goalkeeper Mike Cowdell making a comeback in the absence of Sam Legge and Jack Simcox, levelled at 12-12 a minute and a half from the end when Adam Legge netted from a man-up chance. Sean King (4) and Jack Waller (3) led the Invicta scoring.
Lancaster and Sheffield, who meet tomorrow, both need points to clinch their Super 5s places.
Manchester waited until the third period to lead Lancaster for the first time but, with Andrea de Caro and Kai Dowling both notching hat-tricks, the champions went on to win 10-8. Later, Mancehster maintained a 100 per cent record from six matches by defeating Sheffield 14-11, including another four goals for de Caro.
Earlier, Joel Abbott scored five for Sheffield but his team lost 10-9 to Solihull, for whom Arthur Davies and Matt Madden both scored a couple of goals. Sutton & Cheam registered their first win - 11-8 against Polytechnic. Four goals without reply in the third quarter by Dicken McLean, Stephen Bayles, Ryan Symington and Kieran Rutter made the difference.