Men’s Hockey League Premier Division Review – 6 March 2022
The University of Exeter ended their 20 game winless run in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division in emphatic style, winning 9-0 at fellow relegation candidates Durham University on Sunday afternoon.
The first meeting between the teams had ended in a 3-3 draw in Devon in Phase One, Durham equalising in the last minute but the reverse fixture in the Bottom 5 was all one way.
Amazingly, Exeter only led 1-0 at half time, Max Lowrey converting a penalty corner just before the interval. The floodgates opened in the third quarter, Charlie Taylor’s 41st minute open play goal and Lowrey’s second penalty corner of the match two minutes later quickly leaving Durham 3-0 down. Rhys Bradshaw added the fourth goal from the penalty spot in the 51st minute before Durham were swamped by five open play goals in the fourth quarter.
Ben Fox started the final quarter rout in the 58th minute before Jacob Payton scored in the 61st and 62nd minutes. Seb Ansley made it eight with four minutes to play with Billy Collins completing an historic day for the Devon University in the last minute.
Exeter had last won 3-2 at Brooklands Manchester University on 22 February 2020 and kept their first clean sheet since they won 3-0 at Reading on 29 September 2019.
Exeter closed to within three points of Durham and six points of Brooklands Manchester University, who lost 6-2 at home to Oxted. Brooklands trailed 3-0 at the break, Nick Giles scoring in the second minute from open play; Lewis Fraser converting a twelfth minute penalty corner and Sam Driver scoring form open play in the 32nd minute. Jamie Batten’s 40th minute goal and Driver’s 44th minute effort, both from open play extended the lead to 5-0 before Brooklands responded through Peter Flanagan’s 53rd minute penalty corner conversion and James Lavers’ open play goal on the hour mark. Chris Webster scored Oxted’s sixth goal three minutes from the end.
With everybody apart from Durham University having played thirteen games (Durham have played a game more) Oxted have a four point advantage over eighth placed Beeston (who had their first bye week) with two of Brooklands, Durham University and Exeter likely to go down at the end of the season.
In the Top Six, Old Georgians maintained their eight point lead as they beat East Grinstead 3-0 in Surrey. James Carson scored the only goal of the first half in the ninth minute from open play with Ashley Jackson converting a 42nd minute penalty corner and Tom Carson scoring a third from open play four minutes later to give Old Georgians their eighth successive win since losing 2-0 at Wimbledon in October.
Wimbledon opened up clear daylight between themselves and third placed Surbiton with a convincing 4-1 win at London rivals Hampstead & Westminster. Ben Arnold opened the scoring in the 25th minute before Ed Horler quickly added a second three minutes later, both from open play to five Wimbledon a 2-0 half time lead. Horler once more scored quickly after Liam Ansell notched Wimbledon’s third goal in the 53rd minute, Horler adding a fourth two minutes later, again both goals coming from open play. Hampstead’s sole reply came from Sam French’s penalty corner conversion with four minutes remaining as Hampstead dropped to fifth behind Holcombe on goal difference.
Surbiton lost ground after Holcombe avenged their 6-4 defeat at Sugden Road on the opening day with a 3-0 win at Holcombe Park. Apart from a 5-0 defeat awarded against them a fortnight ago when they had problems fielding a goalkeeper away to Hampstead & Westminster, Holcombe have not lost on the field of play since October when Old Georgians beat them 2-1 in Kent.
All three goals came from open play with Jake Raben scoring in the 14th minute, Jake Owen doubling the hosts’ lead in the 30th minute and Nick Bandurak scoring his thirteenth goal of the season in the 43rd minute to help Holcombe close to within two points of Surbiton and move above Hampstead into fourth.
|5||Hampstead & Westminster||14||8||2||4||37||28||9||26|
|5||University of Exeter||13||1||1||11||29||45||-16||4|