In-form Brooklands prepare for Southgate clash

Brooklands MU's Phil Dutoy v Beeston. Credit Josh Dixon - 450

WITHOUT a win in their first seven matches, Brooklands Manchester University have bounced back in style with back-to-back wins over the last fortnight. They are aiming to make it three in a row when they go to Southgate in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday.

Trailing by four against Reading, they hit back to win 5-4 in a dramatic turnaround. Then last week they won 1-0 at Hampstead and Westminster.

Captain Peter Flanagan said: “During the two week break we focused on upping our physical intensity and defence, and it’s giving us confidence. Success breeds success and if we hadn’t beaten Reading two weeks ago we may not have won at Hampstead either.

“Quite a few of the players haven’t played at this level before, but we’ve played Southgate plenty of times and we know their style of play.

“We felt we let ourselves down early in the season by losing by the odd goal, but we’ve got a new belief in ourselves now.”

Former leaders Surbiton will be aiming to take back first place when they play at Canterbury on Saturday evening. And East Grinstead – who overtook them last weekend – head to Wimbledon, whose defeat of Surbiton helped the Sussex side return to top spot.

Beeston gave their hopes of defending their title a boost with a 5-0 win at Southgate last weekend, and they will want to build on that when they play Reading at home.

Cannock host Hampstead and Westminster in the day’s other top flight action with both teams looking for points to move away from relegation places.

Cardiff and Met visit local rivals Whitchurch as they bid to defend their narrow lead in the NOW: Pensions Conference West, while Team Bath Buccaneers – who are second on goal difference but with a game in hand – go to Indian Gymkhana.

There’s a top of the table clash in the NOW: Pensions Conference North. Leaders Bowdon face second-placed Sheffield Hallam in Cheshire, while elsewhere, third-placed Olton and West Warwickshire are at home against Loughborough Students.

Richmond will need to be at their best when they play runaway leaders Holcombe at the Quintin Hogg Memorial Ground in the NOW: Pensions Conference East, while second-placed Bromley and Beckenham play at Oxted.

* Above file pic of Brooklands' Phil Dutoy is by Josh Dixon.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 22 2014)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Canterbury v Surbiton 18:30

NOW: Pensions Conference East
Teddington v Brighton and Hove 13:45

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, November 23 2014)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Beeston v Reading 12:45
Wimbledon v East Grinstead 14:00
Cannock v Hampstead and Westminster 14:00
Southgate v Brooklands Manchester University 14:30

NOW: Pensions Conference West
University of Birmingham v Guildford 12:30
Whitchurch v Cardiff and Met 13:00
Barford Tigers v University of Exeter 13:00
Fareham v Cheltenham 13:30
Indian Gymkhana v Team Bath Buccaneers 14:00

NOW: Pensions Conference North
Deeside Ramblers v Doncaster 13:30
Olton and West Warwickshire v Loughborough Students 13:30
Wakefield v Leek 13:30
Belper v University of Durham 14:00
Bowdon v Sheffield Hallam 14:30

NOW: Pensions Conference East
Cambridge City v West Herts 12:30
Oxted v Bromley and Beckenham 12:45
Richmond v Holcombe 13:30
Old Loughtonians v Chichester Priory Park 14:00