Men’s Hockey League Premier Division Review – 12 February 2022
Old Georgians came from behind to beat Hampstead & Westminster 3-1 at St. George’s College on Saturday evening to open up a five point lead over both Surbiton and Wimbledon.
Hampstead had lost 5-0 at home to Old Georgians in Phase One, but took the lead from Matt Guise-Brown’s sixth minute penalty corner, Old Georgians conceding only their second goal at home this season. Old Georgians led 2-1 at half time thanks to James Tindall’s open play brace in the 15th and 24th minutes, with Tom Carson adding the third goal in the 49th minute, also from open play.
Surbiton overtook both Wimbledon and Hampstead courtesy of a dramatic late 2-1 win at East Grinstead. Surbiton had won 6-1 in West Sussex in Phase One, but the second meeting of the season was much tighter, neither team scoring in the first half. Gareth Furlong’s 44th minute penalty corner broke the tie, but Jamie Wallace, who had scored East Grinstead’s consolation goal in the first match, seemed to have earned a greater reward when he equalised from open play in the 66th minute. Luke Taylor’s penalty corner conversion with two minutes remaining got Surbiton back to winning ways for the first time since their 5-1 win at Beeston on 7 November.
Wimbledon lost ground and fell to third after going down to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Holcombe. Nick Bandurak scored the only goal from a 57th minute penalty corner to inflict Wimbledon’s second defeat of the season.
In the Bottom 5, the University of Exeter were given an extra week to prepare for their relegation battle as they aim to close the six point gap separating them from safety, after receiving a bye in week one.
Exeter’s nearest rivals, Brooklands Manchester University and Durham University, are both on seven points after Brooklands ended a run of four successive defeats by drawing 2-2 at home to Beeston. The teams had also drawn 3-3 and the spoils were shared for the second time this season after Brooklands snatched a point as Peter Flanagan equalised from a penalty corner in the 61st minute. The game became a penalty corner duel after Andrew Rusbridge gave Brooklands a ninth-minute lead before Josh Pavis scored twice in the 15th and 38th minutes to give Beeston the lead for the first time.
Durham University lost 3-1 to Oxted, the Surrey club opening up a four-point lead over eighth-placed Beeston. Oxted led 1-0 at halftime due to Cameron Heald scoring in the 12th minute from open play, but Max Dobison equalised for Durham in the 46th minute from a penalty corner. Oxted responded immediately, with Sam Driver restoring Oxted’s lead from open play a minute later, Lucas Ward clinching the win with a 50th-minute penalty corner.
|4||Hampstead & Westminster||11||7||2||2||29||21||8||23|
|5||University of Exeter||10||0||1||9||15||38||-23||1|