East Grinstead savour win over Reading

East Grinstead gained some revenge for their defeat to Reading in last season’s Championship final when they beat them 5-4 in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday.

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Games between these two teams are always thrilling encounters and this one was no different.

Reading held a slender lead at half-time with goals from Darren Cheesman and Richard Mantell helping them to a 2-1 advantage. Mark Pearn scored the solitary goal for East Grinstead.

But East Grinstead never gave up and just a few minutes after the restart, a shot deflected in off the Reading keeper to level up the score line.

East Grinstead then scored the next three goals with Ashley Jackson, Andy Piper and Rick Gay all getting in on the action.

But Reading came back again with Cheesman bagging his second and Richard Mantell finding the target for a second time. But it wasn’t enough and East Grinstead managed to hold on for a win which sees them second in the table on goal difference.

Beeston are top of the table following their comprehensive 7-1 win over Canterbury.

The prolific Simon Egerton showed his class once more with a personal tally of four. David Ames, Martin Jones and Craig Boyne scored Beeston’s other goals in a victory which will send a warning to the other teams in the division. Michael Farrer scored the consolation for Canterbury.

Third in the table are Loughborough Students who came through today with a narrow victory over Surbiton.

Rob Schilling opened the scoring for Surbiton with just eight minutes gone but Simon Faulkner struck from penalty corners each side of the break to hand Loughborough the points.

Hampstead and Westminster got their first win of the season under their belts with a 2-1 win over Southgate.

Will Naylor gave them the lead only nine minutes in and then the game remained goalless until the 56th minute when Michael Wark hit a second for the visitors. Southgate responded immediately through George Scott but Hampstead held out.

In the other game of the day, Brooklands MU hosted Cannock and it was the visiting team who left with the points thanks to a Dave Harris brace.

Harris tucked away his first just two minutes in and Alex Edmonstone found the target midway through the first half.

Peter Flanagan tried to haul Brooklands back into it with a goal but a stick tackle in the circle saw Cannock awarded a penalty stroke and Harris dispatched it coolly. Brooklands are still in search of their first point and sit at the foot of the table.

Bowdon are good for their lead at the top of the Men’s Conference North after recording another convincing win at home to Preston. Tom Ainsworth, Mark Daniel and Alex Humphries all found the net as they ran out 3-0 winners. They will be just as pleased with the defence though, conceding just one goal in two games.

Guildford are the only team with two wins out of two in the Men’s Conference West and this week their victims were Whitchurch.

Craig Mullon and Duncan Marsh had them two up after 20 minutes only for Rupert Shipperly to hit back for Whitchurch. But a brace from Will Blockley ensured the points went home with Guildford.

Wimbledon played their game in the Men’s Conference East on Saturday, taking on Teddington in a seven-goal thriller.

Two goals from Jonathan Smith and one each for Chris Gregg and Matthew Bunyan gave them the edge as they ran out 4-3 victors to put them top of the pile after two games.