Men’s Hockey League Preview – 30/31 October 2021
Third-placed Wimbledon and leaders Old Georgians battle for the leadership of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday night when they clash at Raynes Park High School. Old Georgians go into the match having won all five games so far, whilst Wimbledon are also on a five game winning streak after losing their opening match at home to Hampstead & Westminster.
The teams haven’t met since 2019 when Wimbledon won 4-2 at home and drew 3-3 at Old Georgians and both teams will be aware that whatever the result on Saturday, Surbiton, currently in second place, will be breathing down their necks.
On Sunday, Surbiton’s target will be to regain top spot with a home win over the University of Exeter, currently on a 13 game losing streak, but having only lost by a single goal in four of their five games. Exeter came close to a win at Hampstead & Westminster before going down 4-3, but will come up against a team which has put six past both East Grinstead and Holcombe and nine past Brooklands Manchester University.
Hampstead & Westminster have lost ground over the last two weeks with 2-2 draws at Beeston and home to Holcombe and will hope to get back to winning ways at Brooklands Manchester University. Hampstead should be confident having won on their last three visits and haven’t tasted defeat at Brooklands since 2015 when they lost 3-2. Brooklands have had a bye week to regroup after their 9-1 defeat at Surbiton, which followed a home win over the University of Exeter and 3-3 draws at East Grinstead and home to Beeston.
Beeston, battling with Brooklands and Holcombe for sixth place, make the trip to the University of Durham, who made a great start to the season with a 2-1 home win over Brooklands Manchester University, but have faltered since, losing five games in a row, including conceding three goals in the fourth quarter in successive weeks. The collapses cost them a home win over Oxted and ruined an excellent performance against Surbiton, who were held scoreless for 56 minutes. Beeston have found some form over the last two weeks with a 2-2 home draw with Hampstead & Westminster and a 3-1 home win over Oxted.
East Grinstead only have a point to show for their first five games and rued losing a 3-0 lead before drawing 3-3 at home to Brooklands Manchester University. Already four points adrift of the top six, they travel to Holcombe, who also have experience of opposition comebacks, having lost 6-4 at Surbiton after leading 4-3 going into the fourth quarter. Holcombe won 5-3 last time the teams met in Kent in September 2019, East Grinstead having won twice at Holcombe Park in 2018.