In-form Southgate target more scalps

Southgate's Jonty Robinson is tracked by Tom Carson of Reading. Credit Simon Parker. - 450

After springing a surprise defeat on leaders East Grinstead last weekend, Southgate head to Beeston on Saturday with their sights set on taking another big-name scalp in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

They beat East Grinstead 3-2 last Sunday to move out of the relegation zone, and could climb to sixth if they beat Beeston and other results go in their favour this weekend.

And following Saturday’s league match, Southgate will return home to take on Reading in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Cup on Sunday.

“It was great to see the guys playing with such confidence and conviction last weekend and I hope we can do the same this weekend,” said Southgate coach Jonty Robinson.

“Fergus Dunn and Simeon Bird are back in the mix for us, and they make a big impact and give the whole squad confidence to go forward, which is exciting.

“The league always takes priority for us, we know we have an uphill battle to avoid the relegation play-offs. But the Cup is very important too, and is a key development chance, so we will be using some of our youngsters on Sunday.”

East Grinstead will need to bounce back quickly following their defeat to Southgate. Although they still lead the Premier Division by one point they are playing second-placed Surbiton on Saturday, and a defeat will see them drop from the top.

It is also a double-header weekend for Surbiton who, after hosting East Grinstead on Saturday, entertain Beeston in the Cup on Sunday.

Reading head to Cannock on Saturday for a league match prior to their Cup match at Southgate on Sunday, while Brooklands Manchester University are at home against Wimbledon in the league on Saturday before they go to Chichester Priory Park in the Cup on Sunday.

And in the other top-flight match this weekend, Canterbury entertain Hampstead and Westminster on Sunday.

Chichester Priory Park lie third in the NOW: Pensions Conference East, and face a tough weekend with a league match against leaders Holcombe on Saturday before they take on Premier Division Brooklands MU on Sunday.

In the NOW: Pensions Conference West Cardiff and Met lost top spot just before the Winter break, but could take it back when they go to Guildford on Saturday. They are back in action at home 24 hours later with University of Exeter the visitors. Meanwhile, leaders Team Bath Buccaneers face Cheltenham.

It’s top versus bottom in the NOW: Pensions Conference North with high-flying Bowdon hosting Leek. Elsewhere, Sheffield Hallam take on Yorkshire rivals Doncaster on Saturday, before heading to Cannock in the Men’s Cup on Sunday.

* The attached file photo of Southgate’s Jonty Robinson is by Simon Parker.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, February 7 2015)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Cannock v Reading 14:00
Beeston v Southgate 14:00
Brooklands Manchester Univ v Wimbledon 14:00
Surbiton v East Grinstead 16:00

NOW: Pensions Conference West
Guildford v Cardiff & Met 14:00

NOW: Pensions Conference North
Sheffield Hallam v Doncaster

NOW: Pensions Conference East
Bromley and Beckenham v Brighton and Hove 16:00
Holcombe v Chichester Priory Park 18:00

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, February 8 2015)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Canterbury v Hampstead & Westminster 12:45

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

NOW: Pensions Conference North
Olton & West Warwickshire v Univ of Durham 13:30
Deeside Ramblers v Loughborough Students 13:30
Belper v Wakefield 14:00
Bowdon v Leek 14:30

NOW: Pensions Conference East
Richmond v Oxted 13:30
West Herts v Old Loughtonians 14:00
Cambridge City v Teddington 12:30

NOW: Pensions Men’s Cup (Sunday, February 8 2015)

Chichester Priory Park v Brooklands Manchester Univ 13:30
Cannock v Sheffield Hallam 14:00
Surbiton v Beeston 14:00
Southgate v Reading 14:30