Men’s Hockey League Premier Division Review – 20 March 2022
Six seasons after returning to the Men’s Hockey League, having been relegated to the South League in 2009-10, Old Georgians continued their comeback by qualifying for Europe for the first time with a 4-1 victory at Hampstead & Westminster on Sunday.
Chris Griffiths gave Old Georgians a 1-0 half time lead courtesy of an open play goal just before the interval before extending their lead to 4-0 with just six minutes remaining, Sam Ward converting a 43rd minute penalty corner and scoring from open play either side of Chris Proctor’s 48th minute open play goal. Matt Guise-Brown scored a consolation goal for Hampstead with a trademark penalty corner conversion.
Old Georgians’ victory ensured that the 2020 champions Surbiton’s defence was finally over with the St. George’s College club now out of reach. Old Georgians can clinch the title with a home win over Surbiton next weekend.
Second placed Wimbledon, ten points behind Old Georgians, boosted their hopes of clinching the second Euro Hockey League qualification spot with a 5-1 thrashing of Holcombe at Raynes Park High School. Wimbledon led 3-0 at the break, Duncan Scott opening the scoring in the 24th minute before Ed Horler scored in the 32nd and 35th minutes, all the goals coming from open play. Tom Russell gave Holcombe brief hope of a second half comeback when he pulled a goal back in the 38th minute, only for Horler to complete his hat-trick a minute later and continue the open play goal sequence. Ben Arnold’s penalty corner conversion with five minutes remaining completed another comprehensive performance.
Surbiton maintained the three point gap between themselves and Wimbledon with a 9-1 thrashing of East Grinstead in a match which also saw Luke Taylor miss a tenth minute penalty stroke and Gareth Furlong hit the post from a penalty corner. Jack Middleton started the rout in the sixth minute and by the end of the first quarter, Surbiton led 3-0, David Goodfield doubling the lead in the 14th minute and Ben Park scoring in the 17th. East Grinstead shaded the second quarter, Jamie Wallace slotting a penalty stroke in the 25th minute to not only make the half time score 3-1, but become East Grinstead’s sole scorer in all three games against Surbiton this season, East Grinstead having lost 6-1 and 2-1 in West Sussex.
The second half was all Surbiton with Rob Farrington notching a brace in the 37th and 39th minutes and Tim Nurse adding a sixth goal in the 43rd minute, all six goals coming from open play. Jamie Golden broke the sequence with a 52nd minute penalty corner conversion, but Nick Park and Alex Williams added the eighth and ninth goals in the 60th and 65th minutes from open play as Surbiton won 9-1 at home for the second time this season, having beaten Brooklands Manchester University by the same score back in October.
In the Bottom 5, Durham University and the University of Exeter are all but relegated after Brooklands Manchester University won 2-1 at Beeston to open up a nine point gap over the bottom two teams. Brooklands had to come from behind as Brendan Andrews scored for Beeston just before half time, but Brooklands’ second half comeback was orchestrated by Felix Tully in the 54th minute and Andrew Jackson with three minutes remaining, all the goals coming from open play. Brooklands closed to within two points of Beeston in ninth place.
Exeter lifted themselves off the bottom with a 3-1 home win over Durham University. Max Bormann gave Durham a sixth minute lead from a penalty corner but Exeter responded with three open play goals, Jack Taylor equalising in the 17th minute, Elliot Sanderson giving Exeter the lead for the first time in the 29th minute and Billy Collins clinching the win in the 51st minute.
Oxted stay a point ahead of Beeston in seventh place with a game in hand after having their second bye week of Phase 2.
|4||Hampstead & Westminster||16||9||2||5||42||33||9||29|
|4||University of Exeter||15||2||1||12||34||50||-16||7|