Men’s Hockey League Premier Division Review – 13/14 November 2021
The race to finish top of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division at the end of the first half of the season is set to come to a thrilling conclusion after Hampstead & Westminster ended Surbiton’s unbeaten record on Saturday night in the match rearranged from October due to both teams competing in the Euro Hockey League.
Hampstead won 2-1, but had to come from behind, Ben Boon putting Surbiton ahead in the 46th minute from open play. Matt Guise-Brown equalised from a trademark penalty corner four minutes later before Rupert Shipperley secured Hampstead’s first ever league win at Sugden Road from open play in the 59th minute.
Hampstead also won on Sunday, beating the University of Durham 4-0 at home to close to within four points of Surbiton and Old Georgians. Matt Ramshaw scored the only goal of the first half from open play in the 9th minute, but further open play goals from James Oates in the 37th minute and Joe Sharp in the 62nd minute came either side of Matt Guise-Brown’s tenth goal of the campaign, scored from the penalty spot in the 57th minute.
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Wimbledon opened up a three point lead over both Surbiton and Old Georgians, having played a game more, courtesy of their 7-0 home win over Brooklands Manchester University on Saturday night. Brooklands trailed 1-0 at half time, Peter Scott scoring from open play in the 27th minute, but Scott’s 37th minute penalty corner conversion was the first of six second half goals for the hosts. Eddie Way added two quick penalty corner conversions in the 41st and 43rd minutes; Evan Kimber notched a brace of open play goals in the 45th and 52nd minutes and David Condon had the last word with an open play strike two minutes from time.
Old Georgians joined Surbiton on 21 points but remained in third place after a convincing 5-1 home win over Oxted on Sunday. James Carson gave Old Georgians a quick lead in the second minute from open play, only for Lewis Fraser to level in the 13th minute from a penalty corner. James Albery restored the hosts’ lead from open play on the half hour mark. Ed Carson’s 38th minute open play goal and Tom Carson’s 53rd minute penalty corner took the game away from Oxted with Dan Shingles completing the scoring from open play in the 61st minute.
Holcombe almost clinched their top six spot with a 5-2 home win over Beeston. Holcombe led 3-0 through Nick Bandurak’s 13th minute and Tim Guise-Brown’s 22nd minute penalty corner conversions and Tom O’Keefe’s 27th minute open play goal. Beeston mounted a mini comeback, Henry Croft pulling a goal back from open play in the 29th minute and Gareth Griffiths scoring from a penalty stroke four minutes later to reduce Holcombe’s half time advantage to 3-2. Robert Field ended Beeston’s hopes with a second half open play brace with goals in the 51st and 68th minutes.
The University of Exeter’s wait to end their losing run of losing matches goes on after East Grinstead beat them 3-2 in Devon. Daniel Faulkner gave East Grinstead a 3rd minute lead from a penalty corner, before Sam Taylor equalised on the stroke of half time in the same manner. Exeter led 2-1 in the 43rd minute courtesy of Rhys Bradshaw’s penalty stroke but East Grinstead turned the match around thanks to Louis Gittens’ open play leveller in the 46th minute and Ben Mackey’s penalty corner winner in the 59th.
With Surbiton due to host Wimbledon next Saturday and visit Old Georgians the following Sunday, there are bound to be further twists and turns before the first half of the season comes to a close.
|4||Hampstead & Westminster||8||5||2||1||21||17||4||17|
|8||University of Durham||8||2||0||6||7||30||-23||6|
|11||University of Exeter||8||0||0||8||11||32||-21||0|