MHL Premier Division Review – 20 September
Defending champions Surbiton romped to a big opening day win for the second successive season, beating Brooklands Manchester University 8-1 at Sugden Road, thanks to a five star performance from penalty corner specialist, Luke Taylor.
In 2019-20, Reading were put to the sword, 10-1. Once again it was Ben Boon who opened Surbiton’s account, this time after just 30 seconds. Brooklands trailed 3-0 after eight minutes, Arjan Drayton Chana doubling Surbiton’s lead in the sixth minute, before Luke Taylor scored his first goal. Taylor struck again in the 17th minute before Peter Flanagan converted a 20th minute penalty corner to make the half time score 4-1. Taylor ran riot with goals in the 39th, 48th and 67th minutes before Rob Farrington completed the scoring in the 69th minute.
Holcombe’s Nick Bandurak nets his 100th National League goal on his way to scoring a hat-trick, including a last minute winner as Old Georgians went down 3-2 at Holcombe Park. Holcombe led 2-0, Bandurak scoring from open play in the fifth minute and a 16th minute penalty corner but Old Georgians fought back to level at 2-2, thanks to Ashley Jackson’s 44th minute penalty stroke and Sam Ward’s penalty corner nine minutes later. Bandurak won the game with a penalty corner to avenge Holcombe’s 5-4 defeat in last season’s fixture.
Hampstead & Westminster maintained their record of wins over the University of Exeter with a 5-3 win in Devon. Hampstead led 5-1 at the interval, Sam French opening the scoring in the fifth minute before Charlie Taylor levelled in the ninth minute. Hywel Jones restored Hampstead’s lead in the 21st minute, all three goals coming from open play. Matt Guise-Brown’s penalty corner brace in the 25th and 32nd minutes and James Oates’ open play goal in the 29th minute put the visitors in command. Exeter battled back and won the second half 2-0, Duncan Scott scoring from the penalty spot in the 50th minute and Max Sydenham reducing the deficit to 5-3 from open play in the 56th minute.
Newly promoted Oxted went down narrowly in their local derby at East Grinstead, Luke Emmett’s fourth minute open play goal and Louis Gittens’ 45th minute penalty corner enough to secure the points at Saint Hill in spite of Timothy Guise Brown scoring Oxted’s first ever top flight goal from a 63rd minute penalty corner.
Wimbledon and Beeston fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw at Raynes Park High School. Beeston last won at Wimbledon in 2014 and over the last five seasons the result has alternated between a home win and a score draw. The pattern continued this season following Wimbledon’s 2-0 win in the last campaign. Rory Patterson’s 14th minute open play goal was cancelled out by Beeston’s Adam Dixon with a 19th minute penalty corner. Sam Apoola gave Beeston the lead in the 41st minute from open play but Wimbledon fought back to lead 3-2 thanks to Ian Sloan’s 52nd minute penalty corner and Patterson’s second goal of the game from open play with six minutes remaining, Chris Proctor stole a point with a 66th minute penalty corner.