England Hockey League Review
Surbiton 6-4 Holcombe
Surbiton started the defence of their Men’s Hockey League Premier Division title with a stunning 6-4 home win over Holcombe. The 2020 champions, denied the opportunity for a full defence in 2021 due to COVID-19, fell behind to Tom Russell’s eighth-minute goal, before Rob Farrington equalised nine minutes before half time. Nick Bandurak restored Holcombe’s lead six minutes later, but with no indication of the second half goal-fest to come.
Gareth Furlong brought Surbiton level for a second time ten minutes into the second half, only for Holcombe to open up a 4-2 lead with goals in the 47th and 48th minutes through Jake Owen and Tom O’Keefe. Surbiton scored four goals in the last twenty minutes, Farrington starting the comeback in the 50th minute.
Luke Taylor equalised in the 54th minute to make the score 4-4 and leave all to play for. David Goodfield gave Surbiton the lead for the first time with four minutes remaining, Taylor slotting home from the penalty spot in the penultimate minute to clinch the 6-4 victory.
University of Durham 2-1 Brooklands Manchester University
History was made as the University of Durham achieved their first-ever win in the top flight at the expense of Brooklands Manchester University. Jacob Schmidt gave Durham the lead, only for Alex Holmes to equalise early in the second half. Raunaq Rai was Durham’s history maker as Brooklands went down 2-1.
East Grinstead 1-2 Oxted
The other promoted team from 2019-20, Oxted, were also victorious, reversing last season’s opening day scoreline by winning 2-1 at local rivals East Grinstead. Owen Williamson scored both Oxted goals on either side of Louis Gittens’ effort for the hosts.
Wimbledon 2-3 Hampstead & Westminster
Hampstead & Westminster kept up their winning run at London rivals, Wimbledon with a 3-2 victory. Hampstead were cruising at half time after Matt Guise-Brown scored a hat-trick, but Wimbledon fought back in the second half, Evan Kimber and Ben Francis giving the visitors some anxious moments before Hampstead held on to record their fourth successive victory at Wimbledon.
Old Georgians 4-0 Beeston
Old Georgians showed that once again they are going to be a force to reckon with after a 4-0 home win over Beeston. Sam Ward scored a brace against his former club with James Tindall and Ed Carson also contributing towards the win.
Vitality Women’s Hockey League review available here