The only comprehensive (and correct) Men’s Hockey League Preview & Media Guide – 16/17 October 2021
Surbiton have the opportunity to go to the top of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division table when they host Brooklands Manchester University on Saturday night. Surbiton won 8-1 at home on the opening day of last season and the result followed the pattern of previous seasons when Surbiton won 7-0, 7-1, 5-1 and 6-2 after Brooklands last won at Sugden Road, 5-3 in February 2016. Brooklands have drawn their last two games 3-3 at home to Beeston and at East Grinstead while Surbiton will be looking to score more goals, although the University of Durham kept them scoreless until the fourth quarter last Sunday before going down 3-0.
If Surbiton win, Old Georgians will want to make the most of their superior goal difference by winning at Holcombe on Sunday. Results between Old Georgians and Holcombe have been mixed with a 3-3 draw, a 5-4 win for Old Georgians and last season, a 3-2 win for Holcombe in Kent. This season, Old Georgians have scored 16 goals and just conceded 1, at the University of Exeter in securing three wins, whilst Holcombe lost 6-4 at Surbiton after collapsing in the fourth quarter, won 3-0 at home to the University of Durham and lost 2-1 at Wimbledon before a bye week last weekend.
Hampstead & Westminster needed an epic comeback to maintain their one hundred per cent record by coming from 3-1 down to beat the University of Exeter 4-3 last week, and travel to Beeston, who secured their first point of the season in the draw at Brooklands. Hampstead won 4-3 on their last visit to Beeston, having lost four matches in a row in Nottingham and will aim to start their own winning streak in the East Midlands.
Wimbledon are still in contention although they lost their first match of the season and welcome the University of Durham to South West London. Durham will be a little shell shocked after conceding three goals in the fourth quarter two weeks running with the goals coming at the same times in both matches. Last season Wimbledon won 6-4 in a goal fest and Durham will be hoping to put up a similar battling performance this season. Wimbledon have won their last three games with a 6-0 demolition of Oxted last week.
Oxted are in the unusual position of having won both their away games, but lost both home games and when the University of Exeter visit Surrey, they will be hoping to break the pattern. Historically, the University of Exeter have had the edge, both in the old National South Division and the 2009 Promotion Tournament, but Oxted won 2-0 last season when the teams met for the first time in the Premier Division. The University of Exeter will be hoping to end their run of defeats, which goes back to February 2020 when they won 3-2 at Brooklands Manchester University and currently stands at eleven.