Week 5 of the Men’s Hockey league saw an influx of goals across the six matches. Thirty-two goals were scored up and down the country as the leading pack started to break away, whilst the bottom six got tighter, with all teams separated by three points.
Surbiton maintained their slender lead at the top of the Premier Division with a 4-0 away win at the University of Exeter. Visiting the West Country for the first time since their 8-2 win in 2019, Surbiton took just two minutes to open the scoring, with Luke Taylor firing home a penalty corner. Tom Sorsby (20) extended the lead before the half-time break before Stuart Rushmere (43) and James Gall (60) put the game out of reach for the hosts.
Old Georgians and Wimbledon secured wins to keep the pressure on Surbiton, trailing the leaders by one point and with a game in hand. Old Georgians had an emphatic 6-2 victory over Oxted, whilst Wimbledon secured a tighter away win, beating Reading by a sole Liam Ansell goal in the 37th minute.
Jonathan Lankfer and Matthew Barnett were on the scoresheet for Oxted in the 3rd and 39th minute, respectively, making Oxted the highest-scoring side vs the reigning champions this season. A Sam Ward (10-PC, 52) double and goals from Ashley Jackson (26), back on the scoresheet as rumours circulate of a return to the international fold, plus Chris Proctor (30), debutant Alexander Fraser (44) and James Carson (55) completed the scoring for Weybridge based outfit.
Holcombe and Hampstead & Westminster put their University-based opposition to the sword, as Holcombe continued in their high-scoring vein following last week’s 5-4 victory over Reading with a 6-3 home win against the University of Nottingham. Nick Bandurak (4, 30-PC, 60-PC, 62), the star of the show, with four goals for his side, Hayden Phillips (3) and Old Elthamian, Jake Owen (27) on the scoresheet for the hosts. The University of Nottingham, missing key personnel due to GB call-ups for the Sultan of Johor Cup, fought valiantly with goals from Archie Foster (15-PC), Louis Tipper (32) and Peter Caughey (52).
Hampstead & Westminster continued their home dominance against Brooklands Manchester University with a 7-1 thrashing, extending their stranglehold over their visitors since 2014. Noah Jones opened the scoring in the 9th minute for the hosts before a double from Will Calnan (25, 44) and a thirteen-minute hattrick for Sam French (50, 53-PC, 63) put Hampstead in a commanding position before Kei Kaeppeler rounded off the scoring two minutes from time. Harry Tomkins (65) with a consultation goal for Brooklands MU at the end of the fourth quarter.
With just one goal separating the two sides going into the match, there wasn’t much that could separate Beeston and East Grinstead during it, either. With both sides climbing one place on the ladder, due to the University of Nottingham’s heavy defeat at Holcombe, a draw was inevitable as both sides looked to gain the upper hand. Goals from East Grinstead’s Charles Taylor (10) and Gareth Griffiths (42) for Beeston.