The Men’s Matchday Media Guide is back
As in previous seasons, the aim is to produce statistical information about forthcoming matches in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division with an overview of the rest of the league.
For one season only, the Premier Division will consist of eleven teams, with Oxted and University of Durham both promoted from Division One and the University of Exeter retaining their top flight status after finishing ninth in 2019-20.
Overall, the league will have 61 teams, with only one of the ninth placed teams in the Conferences relegated to the regional leagues instead of the two teams originally planned. With the divisions below the Premier Division starting their league programmes on 26 September, there will be more information in next week’s edition.
This week, the focus is on the Premier Division. So where can you find information to complement this media guide?
The home page for all England Hockey competitions for the 2020-21 season including the six divisions of the MHL can be found here:
Competition information is also available for seasons 2017-18 to 2019-20 by selecting the appropriate season and category.
A comprehensive list of player movements for both Premier Divisions can be found at the Hockey Paper website here:
Information about the MHL Premier Division including hopefully being able to follow the games in real time can be found at the England Hockey Altius website:
Upcoming umpire appointments can be found for all national league divisions here Click on “Appointments” for any updates after the media guide is published.
And if you want to look at MHL History going back from 2016-17 just click here.
Click on a division (e.g. Men’s Premier Division 2016-17) and the league table will be displayed. By clicking on “Detail” and scrolling down, a list of fixtures in batches of 30 will appear. Clicking on the red arrow for each match will display the scorers and goal times as officially recorded. Information exists going back to 1999-2000 but some of the early seasons don’t have goalscorer information.
The Premier Division Gets Underway
Oxted play their debut Premier Division match at East Grinstead on Sunday after working their way up the leagues over the years and being ever-present members of the Conference East. The restructuring to Division One South saw Oxted finish top and promoted to the Premier, again because the playoffs could not be held. They were promoted with the University of Durham, who will make their debut in the top flight in week 2 as they have a bye in week 1. East Grinstead finished closer to the relegation places than they would have liked and new Head Coach Tim Deakin and Assistant Coach Dave Beckett will want to take the first steps towards bringing back the glory days to Saint Hill.
Surbiton start their title defence at home to Brooklands Manchester University, a fixture which has provided plenty of goals over the years. Unfortunately for Brooklands, last season, Surbiton scored 19 across both fixtures with Brooklands unable to score, a very unusual occurrence as Brooklands rarely fail to score in league games.
Last season’s runners-up, Hampstead & Westminster, make the long trip to the University of Exeter. The playoffs cancellation enabled Exeter to keep their place after finishing ninth and Exeter will be hoping to finish higher after finishing ninth in the last two seasons. Hampstead will want to regain the championship they won in 2019.
Wimbledon are at home to Beeston, who joined their women’s team as Tier One champions after a comprehensive 9-1 win over plucky Fareham last weekend. Wimbledon have lost prolific scorer, Ed Horler, but brought in David Condon and Liam Ansell as they aim to challenge the top two in their quest for a Championship title.
Old Georgians finished fourth in their first ever season in the Premier Division and begin their second with a visit to Holcombe where they just came out on top in a 5-4 thriller after going behind in the first minute. Holcombe finished fifth last season, eleven points behind Old Georgians and will be hoping to close the gap in 2020-21.
There will be two phases to each Premier Division season. Phase 1 will see the eleven teams play their ten opponents once. Phase 2 will see the top six teams after Phase 1 play their five opponents once with the top three teams at the end of Phase 1 earning the third home game. The team finishing top of the top six table will be champions with the other five teams ranked in order.
The lower five teams will play the other four teams home and away (eight matches) with two bye dates as there will be ten rounds of matches in total. The teams in the lower six table will be ranked from seventh to eleventh.
It is planned that the Premier Division will revert back to ten teams for 2021-22 but this will be reviewed in 2021. If the reversion goes ahead, the teams ranked tenth and eleventh will be relegated and the ninth placed team will play the loser of the Division One North/ South playoff. The winner of the Division One North/ South playoff will be promoted.
MATCHDAY NOTES FOR 20 SEPTEMBER
East Grinstead v Oxted
Saint Hill – 1400
First meeting in national league
East Grinstead meet Oxted for the first time in the national league after Oxted made it third time lucky in trying to win promotion to the Premier Division. Oxted joined the national league in 2005-06 after winning the South League titie and after three seasons in National League South, where they finished behind Old Georgians and Holcombe, now both in the Premier Division, were ever present in the Conference East from 2008-09 to 2018-19. Twice they lifted the title only to fall short in the Promotion Tournament (2008-09 and 2017-18) but finally made it after winning Division One South in 2019-20 after the season was prematurely curtailed.
East Grinstead start a new chapter with Tim Deakin becoming the Men’s Head Coach with Dave Beckett as his assistant. Last season’s seventh place finish saw them finish closer to the relegation zone than they would have liked and they will be hoping to get off on the right foot against their newly promoted opponents.
“We have made a lot of progress throughout pre-season and we can’t wait to get the league season underway. It has definitely been a pre season with a lot of unknowns but we have created a strong squad and have a good number of players on debut.”Tim Deakin – East Grinstead Head Coach
Holcombe v Old Georgians
Holcombe Park – 1400
Last Season: (17 November 2019)
Holcombe 4 (Robert Field, Nick Bandurak, Mark Gleghorne (2))
Old Georgians 5 (Tom Carson (2), Andy Bull, James Tindall (2)
Holcombe finished in fifth place last season, a massive eleven points behind Old Georgians as the top four teams were in a different class to the rest of the division. Last season’s encounter at Holcombe Park was a thrilling affair after Holcombe scored In the first minute but Old Georgians prevailed in a nine goal thriller. Old Georgians finished fourth in their first ever season in the top flight and will be aiming to build on last season’s achievements and have an eye on European qualification against local rivals, Surbiton, Wimbledon and Hampstead & Westminster. Holcombe’s target will be to close the gap between them and the London/ Surrey quartet in what should prove to be another competitive season.
Trivia note: Holcombe drew 3-3 at Old Georgians in October when Holcombe led 3-0 shortly after half time only for Old Georgians to earn a point. Barry Middleton, Gleghorne and Bandurak were on target for Holcombe, Tom Watson, Bull and Tom Carson fought back to equalise.
Surbiton v Brooklands Manchester University
Sugden Road – 1430
Last Season: (29 February 2020)
Surbiton 7 (Ben Boon, Luke Taylor (4), Alan Forsyth (2) Brooklands Manchester University 0
Last 5 Seasons: 7-0; 7-1; 5-1; 6-2; 3-5
Brooklands’ last win at Sugden Road: 6 February 2016
Surbiton 3 (Dave Beckett, Alan Forsyth (2))
Brooklands MU 5 (Ross Hall, Peter Friend, Peter Cornell (2), Aidan Khares)
Surbiton were ruthless last season against Brooklands Manchester University, winning both league games with a combined goal margin of 19-0. Exactly five months earlier in September 2020, Surbiton thrashed Brooklands 12-0 on their own pitch, Forsyth scoring four goals, Taylor a hat-trick with Boon, Rob Farrington, Sam Spencer and David Goodfield joining in. Brooklands were caught up in a relegation battle, but finished eighth, two points ahead of the University of Exeter. David and Peter Flanagan led the way with five goals apiece but will need more support if Brooklands are to move up the table.
Trivia note: Brooklands scored in 16 of their 18 league games in 2019-20, only failing to score against Surbiton.
University of Exeter v Hampstead & Westminster
Exeter Sports Park – 1400
Last Season: (10 November 2019)
University of Exeter 1 (Sam Hooper)
Hampstead & Westminster 4 (Chris Cargo, Matt Guise-Brown (2), Harry Martin)
Last 5 Seasons: 1-4; 0-5; DNP; DNP; DNP. Other Seasons: 2011-12 1-4; 2009-10 1-3
The University of Exeter start their third consecutive season in the Premier Division, having been spared having to defend their top flight status via the playoffs due to the premature conclusion to the 2019-20 season. In the previous two seasons, Exeter have finished ninth and would like to aim for a higher position, but life has been tough for University teams in the Premier Division with Brooklands finishing eighth in the last two seasons.
Hampstead & Westminster were denied the opportunity to defend their title when the championships were cancelled, so had to settle for second place and European qualification. This season should be a battle with Surbiton, Wimbledon and Old Georgians and any teams that can bridge the gap that existed between fourth and fifth places last season.
Trivia note: The University of Exeter have never beaten Hampstead & Westminster in the Premier Division (Hampstead have won all eight games).
Wimbledon v Beeston
Raynes Park High School – 1430
Last Season: (20 October 2019)
Wimbledon 2 (Ed Horler, Ben Francis) Beeston 0
Last 5 Seasons: 2-0; 2-2; 2-1; 2-2; 3-0
Beeston’s last win at Wimbledon: (21 September 2014)
Wimbledon 1 (Phillip Ball)
Beeston 3 (Tim Whiteman, Sam Ward, Adam Dixon)
Wimbledon face Tier One Champions Beeston on the opening day of the season with several new faces in their squad. David Condon and Liam Ansell have joined from East Grinstead; Evan Kimber has arrived from Loughborough Students with Peter Scott coming in from Reading and Eddie Way from Brooklands Manchester University. Wimbledon will miss Ed Horler’s 25 goals last season, after his departure to Belgium.
Among Beeston’s acquisitions was Lucas Alcalde, one of their scorers in the 9-1 win over plucky Fareham in the England Hockey Tier One final. Beeston are looking for their first win at Wimbledon since September 2014 when they won 3-1.
Trivia note: The teams last met on the opening day of the season in September 2017 when Beeston drew 1-1 at Nottingham Hockey Centre, Iain Lewers putting Wimbledon ahead before Mark Gleghorne equalised for Beeston.
|. Premier Division – Phase 1||Bee||BMU||EG||H&W||Hol||OG||Oxt||Sur||U of D||U of E||Wim|
|Beeston||18 Oct||22 Nov||6 Dec||27 Sep||11 Oct|
|Brooklands Manchester University||10 Oct||24 Oct||8 Nov||6 Dec||27 Sep|
|East Grinstead||24 Oct||4 Oct||29 Nov||20 Sep||7 Nov|
|Hampstead & Westminster||29 Nov||18 Oct||4 Oct||6 Dec||8 Nov|
|Holcombe||8 Nov||24 Oct||20 Sep||6 Dec||3 Oct|
|Old Georgians||22 Nov||18 Oct||27 Sep||11 Oct||13 Dec|
|Oxted||29 Nov||13 Dec||27 Sep||24 Oct||4 Oct|
|Surbiton||20 Sep||10 Oct||13 Dec||28 Nov||8 Nov|
|University of Durham||13 Dec||18 Oct||22 Nov||4 Oct||29 Nov|
|University of Exeter||13 Dec||22 Nov||27 Sep||20 Sep||18 Oct|
|Wimbledon||20 Sep||10 Oct||5 Dec||21 Nov||24 Oct|
(Premier Division Regular Season only)
|A Win||A Home Win||An Away Win||A Defeat||A Home Defeat||An Away Defeat||A Score Draw||A No Score Draw||Conceding A Goal||Scoring A Goal||Conceding More Than 1||Scoring More Than 1||Keeping A Clean Sheet||Failing To Score||Winning Consecutive Games||Losing Consecutive Games||Gaining A Point||Losing A Point||Win By More Than One||Loss By More Than One|
|Hampstead & W||0||0||0||10||6||4||5||30||1||0||2||0||0||20||0||20||0||5||0||10|
|University of Durham*||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N|
|University of Exeter||4||1||3||0||0||0||7||N||0||0||0||0||15||6||4||0||4||0||15||1|
N= No occurrence
*Oxted and the University of Durham are in their first ever season in the Premier Division
|Final MHL Premier Division Table||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||Pts|
|2||Hampstead & W||18||13||2||3||64||38||26||41|
|8||Brooklands Manchester U||18||4||1||13||28||64||-36||13|
|9||University of Exeter||18||3||2||13||28||77||-49||11|
|Men‘s Premier Division Fixtures – 19 Sep 2020||Start||MO||Umpires|
|East Grinstead||v||Oxted||14:00||Richard Barter||Nick Padget, Martin Twist|
|Holcombe||v||Old Georgians||14:00||Richard Chere||Mark Jarvis, Andy Poulain|
|Surbiton||v||Brooklands MU||14:30||David Rigby||Andy Higgins, Paul Walker|
|University of Exeter||v||Hampstead & W||14:00||Richard Hill||Neil Smith, Nick White|
|Wimbledon||v||Beeston||14:30||Gill Collins||Mark Everard, David Monger|
|Bye: University of Durham|
England Hockey Tier One Championship Final 2019-20
12 September 2020 – Nottingham Hockey Centre
Beeston (4) 9 (Adam Dixon 5-PC, Sam Apoola 13-F, 37-F, 66-PC, 67-F; Gareth Griffiths 18-PC,48-F, 51-F;
Lucas Alcalde 30-F)
Fareham (1) 1 (Alex Boxall 34-F)
Beeston: Simon Hujwan, Joshua Pavis, Ollie Willars, Kyle Marshall, Robbie Gleeson, Gareth Griffiths, Tom Crowson, Nick Park, Henry Croft, Alex Blumfield, Adam Dixon, Lucas Alcalde, Chris Proctor, Sam Apoola, Matthew Crookshanks, James Hunt.
Fareham: Rory Kemp, Thomas Larcombe, Danny Rawlings, Jamie Young, Christian McKenna, Alex Boxall, Chris Tagg, Niall Stott, Philip Larcombe, Joshua Steele, Fergus Jackson, Shane Vincent, Alex Beckett, Neil West, Dylan Coleman, Sam Ratliffe.