Men’s England Hockey League Preview – 10 October 2021
While they were away, Old Georgians took the opportunity to go top of the Premier Division table with a 5-1 win at the University of Exeter and will host an East Grinstead side who threw away a three goal lead at home to Brooklands Manchester University last Sunday. With Old Georgians relatively new members of the top flight, they have only met ever met East Grinstead twice and Old Georgians won 5-0 home and away in the 2019-20 season.
Second placed Surbiton make the long trip to the University of Durham, where they won 6-1 last season. Durham struggled during the shortened 2020-21 season but beat Brooklands Manchester University 2-1 on opening day and were poised to beat Oxted last weekend before the Surrey club recovered to win 3-2.
Third placed Hampstead & Westminster will be hoping to maintain their record of successive victories against the University of Exeter at Paddington Recreation Ground. Hampstead have won all nine previous Premier Division meetings with the Devon club and will also want to maintain their one hundred per cent division record. Exeter started with a 2-1 loss at Brooklands before last week’s home loss to Old Georgians.
Fourth plays fifth as Wimbledon visit Oxted. The teams haven’t met since their Conference East days when Wimbledon won five of six meetings including all three games at Oxted, of which the second was a massive 10-1 win in 2011. Having lost 5-0 at home to Wimbledon in 2010-11, Oxted won 5-3 in the return. Wimbledon will be aiming for a third successive win after losing their opener to Hampstead, whilst Oxted will be hoping for a home win to back up their two away wins at East Grinstead and the University of Durham.
After a week’s break, Beeston will want to move away from the bottom of the table as they visit Brooklands Manchester University. Beeston lost their first two games at Old Georgians (0-4) and Wimbledon (2-3), but Brooklands came back from 3-0 down to salvage a 3-3 draw at East Grinstead, following their 2-1 home win over the University of Exeter. Brooklands beat Beeston 2-1 in 2019, but the Nottingham club had won the previous three encounters in the North-West.
Holcombe, who have had mixed fortunes so far this season, winning 3-0 at home to the University of Durham but losing 6-4 at Surbiton and 2-1 at Wimbledon are without a fixture this weekend.