England: England Hockey League 2023/24: Weekend 4 Review

Surbiton 2s continue to emulate their 1st team and top Division One South after a 4-1 defeat of their Wimbledon counterparts. Hannah Denison and Amie Hunt both netted braces in the win that maintains their 100% record and keeps them 3 points clear at the top. Holcombe lead the chasing pack of three. A Deanna Ritchie hat-trick, including two in the last 10 minutes after a Josie Inverdale leveller, gave them a 3-1 win over Slough who were unbeaten before play. Canterbury had a late Alice Brett goal to thank for a 1-0 win against Team Bath Buccaneers. Barnes are also on nine points but had to come from behind to defeat Harleston, who have yet to register a point, 2-1. Two Emily Barrett goals helped Sevenoaks to a 4-1 over Southgate, who have also lost four out of four.

Buckingham are four from four at the top of Division One North. Their latest win came at Wakefield where goals from Natasha James (2), Katrina Meek and Alice Rolfe proved decisive in a 4-1 win. Gloucester City are three points back after their third win, 2-1 against previously unbeaten Durham University, Holly Done and Cassidy Jorritsma on target. Bryony Gillgrass and Sophie Manning traded corners to leave the Midlands derby between Stourport and Sutton Coldfield all square at 1-1. Ben Rhydding picked up their first win of the campaign, beating Olton 3-2, and Swansea earned their first point in a 0-0 draw with Leicester.

Guildford are the only team with a 100% record across all four Conferences and did so in style with a 6-2 defeat of East London to lead Conference East. Spencer are three points back thanks to a 5-2 win over Teddington. Old Georgians got off the mark with a 3-2 win at Old Loughtonians, Tara Daly netting twice. There were plenty of goals elsewhere as Hampstead 2s won 6-0 at Ipswich with Bentine Eggink scoring a hat-trick and London Wayfarers came away from Horsham with a 5-1 win, Nicki Mollison scoring twice.

Repton take over at the top of Conference Midlands after a hard fought 2-1 win over Cambridge City with Jemima Leavesley and Rosie Bowman on target.  Previous leaders St Albans are two points back after they were held 1-1 by Cannock. It was the same scoreline in the Doncaster – Bedford game but a lot more goals elsewhere.   Birmingham University 2s won 7-1 at Belper with a Lotty Hobson hat-trick amongst the goals and Beeston 2s won 10-0 at Oxford University,  Bella Davies-Roche, Scarlott Doxey and Isabelle Smith all scoring trebles.

Pendle Forest move to the top of the table with Stephanie Bedford’s hat trick helping them to a 4-1 win over Brooklands Poynton. Previous leaders Fylde lost their 100% record losing 2-1 at home to Newcastle University thanks to goals in the last five minutes from Georgie Cantrell and Jessica Moricca. The 2nd XI battle between Durham University and Bowdon went the way of the visitors who won 2-0. Elsewhere the Cheshire derby between Didsbury Northern and Timperley ended goalless and the all-Yorkshire match up of Leeds v Harrogate also finished all square a 1-1.

Only three points separate first to eighth in Conference West with Exeter on top after a 7-0 defeat of bottom of the table Basingstoke with Rebecca Fagg netting a hat-trick and Lorel Wallis a brace. Previous leaders Witney lost their unbeaten record and went down 3-1 at Clifton Robinsons 2s. Trojans also lost for the first time, 2-1 at Cheltenham, all the goals coming in the first half. Reading 2s also tasted defeat for the first time, at Bristol Firebrands. Brands led 4-2 at half time with Katherine Hunter scoring twice and although Reading pulled one back they couldn’t find an equaliser. Oxford Hawks beat Fareham 3-0 to leave the Hampshire team five points adrift in ninth.

Canterbury extended their 100% start and their lead at the top of Division One South to four points after an emphatic 7-3 defeat of bottom of the table Brighton & Hove. Brighton actually took  an early lead through Sam Rose before the floodgates opened. Callum Lea, Tom Bean and Nathan Fouhy all bagged a pair and Hamish Roberts the other. Four unanswered second half goals, including two for Kyle Marshall gave Teddington a 4-0 win over Team Bath Buccaneers and move them up to second. It was the same scoreline at Richmond where the hosts defeated Havant to go third. Exeter University were the only team to win on the road, 3-2 at Old Cranleighan, whilst Old Loughtonians overcame Sevenoaks 4-1 with Mark Loughrey netting a hat-trick.

Bowdon are also four from four at the top of Division One North, Jack McAuliffe, Simon Egerton and Michael Bellin scoring their goals in a 3-0 defeat of Leeds. They are two points clear of local rivals Brooklands MU who took the honours in the Cheshire derby at Deeside Ramblers winning 4-2 including two for David Flanagan.  Olton & WW and Loughborough Students remain 3rd and 4th  after a 1-1 draw at Grange Road. Elsewhere there were two emphatic wins.  In the University battle Durham beat Birmingham 6-1, with doubles for Max Garner, Ben Spink and Raunaq Rai and promoted Harborne won 7-2 at bottom of the table Cambridge City, their second win of the season.  

A 4-2 win at Guildford saw Spencer go top of Conference East, replacing their previously unbeaten hosts. Guildford led 2-0 at half time thanks to goals from Ed Tristem and Jonathan Haines, however four unanswered second half goals from Greg Chambers, Kyle Good, Jack Knight and Neil Hamilton turned the game around. Two goals from Ajaz Ahmad helped Indian Gymkhana to a 5-2 win at Wimbledon 2s, taking them up to second and now the only unbeaten team in the Division.  Hampstead move up to third after a 2-0 win at Ipswich and a 2-2 draw between Surbiton 2s and London Wayfarers means they remain level on seven points. Promoted Old Georgians 2s picked up their first points in a 3-0 win at Bromley & Beckenham.   

Nottingham University 2s continue to lead the way in Conference Midlands maintaining their 100% record with an 8-1 defeat of previously unbeaten Banbury,  Ben Shardlow and Luke Holland both scoring twice.  Stourport stay second, and were also in goalscoring mode, beating Birmingham University 2s 6-0, as were third placed Norwich City who won 8-3 at City of Peterborough, with Chris Wardale netting four. Harleston Magpies beat Bedford 3-0 and Barford Tigers’ 1-0 win over St Albans was their first win of the season.

Promoted Lindum are top of Conference North thanks to a 4-3 win over Doncaster who led the table going into Sunday’s game. Doncaster had the lead on three occasions only for Lindum to peg them back each time and win the game with a 70th minute corner conversion from Matthew Parker.  Lindum, on 10 points, now lead the table, and Doncaster, by a point with Timperley second thanks to a 5-1 win at Oxton where Connor Miller and Cameron Lewis both netted twice. Ben Rhydding are also on nine points after a 4-1 win over Beeston 2s with Will Musgrave scoring the first and last goals. Brooklands MU 2s won 2-1 at Wakefield and it was the same scoreline at Sheffield, the visitors Belper close to a first point after three heavy defeats, thwarted by two Alex Bell goals.

Relegated Bristol University and Oxford Hawks lead the way in Conference West looking for an immediate return to Division One, with Ashmoor alongside them, all teams with nine points out of twelve. Oxford beat Cheltenham 3-1 and the University took the honours in the Bristol derby with a 5-1 defeat of Clifton Robinsons with Raphael Boulanger twice on target. Ashmoor also faced local rivals and came away from Isca with a 1-0 win. Another Devon derby saw Exeter University 2s win 3-2 at Plymouth Marjon. The all-South Coast battle, with Chichester travelling to Fareham, went the way of the home team thanks to a solitary Chris Davey strike.     

by England Hockeyl

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