Men’s Hockey League Preview – 12 February 2022
The Men’s Hockey League Premier Division gets fully underway this weekend with the Top 6 and Bottom 5 competitions resuming after the mid-season split.
Leaders Old Georgians are at home to third-placed Hampstead & Westminster at fortress St. George’s College on Saturday night, where they conceded just one goal in their five Phase One home games. Hampstead finished Phase One in third place after Surbiton lost at Old Georgians on the last round in 2021, and suffered a disappointing 5-0 home defeat when they last met Old Georgians.
Second placed Wimbledon travel to Holcombe, also on Saturday night, who qualified comfortably in fifth. When the teams met in October, Wimbledon won 2-1 at Raynes Park High School, so Holcombe will be hoping to avenge that defeat and make some ground on the top four.
Surbiton dropped to fourth after a slump in form saw them lose to at home to Hampstead and at Old Georgians and salvage a last gasp draw at home to Wimbledon in their last three games of Phase One. East Grinstead sneaked in by finishing sixth by winning their last three games at the University of Exeter, at the University of Durham and at home to Beeston. East Grinstead were beaten 6-1 when the teams met in Phase One at Saint Hill under the floodlights and will be aiming for a better performance when Surbiton return to West Sussex for another night clash.
The Bottom 5 Fight On…
In the Bottom 5, the University of Exeter have to wait until week 2 for their first match of 2022 and attempt to close the six point gap separating them from safety. Brooklands Manchester University could extend their five point advantage of the Devon club when they host Beeston on Saturday afternoon. The teams drew 3-3 in the North West back in October and Beeston will know that they are not safe from relegation either.
Oxted, who were pipped to a top six place on goal difference from near neighbours, East Grinstead, begin their 2022 campaign at home to the University of Durham. Oxted had to score two late goals to turn round a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win when they visited Durham in October, when the teams met for the first time in the national league.20220213-MHL-Media-Guide