Men’s Hockey League Premier Division Review – 12/13 March 2022
Old Georgians extended their lead to ten points over second placed Wimbledon in emphatic style on Sunday beating Holcombe 8-2 at St. George’s College. Old Georgians led 3-0 at half time, Tom Carson opening the scoring from open play in the tenth minute with James Albery converting a penalty corner in the 20th minute and Sam Ward also converting a 26th minute penalty corner. Holcombe conceded two goals in as many minutes shortly after half time, Ashley Jackson scoring from a 38th minute penalty stroke and James Tindall scoring from open play a minute later. James Carson put Old Georgians 6-0 up from open play in the 47th minute before Robert Field converted a 52nd minute penalty corner to reduce the deficit going into the fourth quarter.
Sam Ward completed his hat-trick with open play goals in the 56th and 67th minutes before Tom Russell also scored in the 67th minute to make the final score 8-2.
Wimbledon lost ground after drawing a ten goal thriller at home to local rivals Surbiton on Saturday night. Surbiton led 2-0 after just nine minutes with Jamie Golden scoring in the seventh minute and Jack Middleton doubling their lead two minutes later. Wimbledon began their comeback in the 19th minute when Ben Francis scored the third open play goal of the night in the 19th minute with Ed Horler levelling from a 24th minute penalty corner.
Surbiton restored their lead just before half time, Luke Taylor converting a penalty corner for his 18th goal of the season. James Gall quickly doubled Surbiton’s advantage immediately after the interval and Middleton gave the visitors what seemed to be a solid 5-2 lead with a second open play goal of the half. In the 43rd minute. Surbiton carried their 5-2 lead into the fourth quarter, when Wimbledon made a superb comeback, scoring three goals to salvage a 5-5 draw. All three goals came from penalty corners with David Condon scoring in the 55th and 59th minutes and Ed Horler equalising in the penultimate minute as Surbiton drew 5-5 for the first time since 10 October 2009 when they drew at East Grinstead.
Hampstead & Westminster joined Surbiton on 29 points and took advantage of Holcombe’s heavy defeat to move back into fourth with a 4-1 win at East Grinstead. Matt Guise-Brown’s penalty corner expertise earned Hampstead a 2-0 lead with goals in the 14th and 18th minutes, Louis Gittens pulling a goal back from open play in the 22nd minute. Within a minute, Kei Kaeppeler had restored Hampstead’s two goal lead and Guise-Brown’s 51st minute penalty stroke ensure that all three points would be going back to Central London with his 16th goal of the campaign.
In the Bottom 5, Beeston won 2-1 at Oxted to close to within one point of their hosts and all but confirm their top flight status. Oxted led through Aaron Blumfield’s 28th minute open play goal, but Beeston’s penalty corner routine proved effective in the second half as Eddie Harper equalised in the 50th minute and Gareth Griffiths scored the winning goal eight minutes later.
The University of Exeter’s hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a big blow when they lost 4-2 at home to relegation rivals Brooklands Manchester University, who opened up a nine point gap over Exeter and six points over Durham University, who had their first bye week of Phase Two. Exeter fell behind in the fourth minute through Andrew Jackson, Nick Hale doubling the lead in the 20th minute, both goals coming from open play. Rhys Bradshaw briefly reduced the arrears in the 24th minute from a penalty corner, but Andrew Rusbridge immediately responded from open play. Jake Payton gave Exeter hope on the half hour as they trailed 3-2 at half time, but Jackson scored the only goal of the second half from a 54th minute penalty corner to severely dent Exeter’s survival prospects.
|4||Hampstead & Westminster||15||9||2||4||41||29||12|
|5||University of Exeter||14||1||1||12||31||49||-18|