Two tough trips for Cannock

Cannock captain Marc Edwards in action against Beeston, Credit Josh Dixon - 450


TWO tough matches against teams in the top four await Cannock, who are battling to avoid the threat of relegation in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Currently eighth, Cannock are just two points ahead of in-form Southgate in ninth, and could see themselves drawn into the fight to avoid the drop this weekend as they face East Grinstead and Wimbledon.

Cannock lost out to bottom of the table Canterbury last weekend, and coach John Bell said: “That was a massive opportunity for us, having had the lion’s share of possession and opportunities in front of goal. But we will learn from it and will be looking to win both games against East Grinstead and Wimbledon this weekend.

“When we played them earlier in the season we were in a strong position against both but ended up losing. We are a good side, but we’re not scoring enough goals at the moment. That’s got to change as it also puts pressure on you at the other end too.”

Elsewhere third-placed Beeston face fourth-placed rivals Wimbledon in Nottingham on Saturday, and then will tackle leaders Surbiton on Sunday.

Before facing Beeston, Surbiton entertain Southgate on Saturday, while Jonty Robinson’s side return to Trent Park 24 hours later to play local rivals Hampstead and Westminster.

Reading go to Hampstead and Westminster on Saturday, and then travel to Canterbury on Sunday in what could be the last roll of the play-off dice for them.

Canterbury play host to Brooklands Manchester University on Saturday, with the Manchester outfit playing at East Grinstead in their first game of the weekend.

Leaders Team Bath Buccaneers are at home against Guildford in the NOW: Pensions Conference West on Saturday, before travelling to Barford Tigers 24 hours later.

Barford Tigers provide the opposition for second-placed Cardiff and Met on Saturday, who then go to Fareham on Sunday.

Bowdon could clinch the NOW: Pensions Conference North title this weekend. They are at home against Olton and West Warwickshire on Saturday, then head to Doncaster on Sunday.

Meanwhile, second-placed Sheffield Hallam go to Belper on Saturday and return to Abbeydale Park on Sunday to play Deeside Ramblers.

In the NOW: Pensions Conference East, leaders Holcombe need just one point to be crowned the Division winners. They play Teddington on Saturday and go to Cambridge City on Sunday.

* The above file photo shows Cannock captain Marc Edwards in action against Beeston. Credit Josh Dixon.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, February 28 2015)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Canterbury v Brooklands Manchester Univ 13:00
Surbiton v Southgate 14:00
Beeston v Wimbledon 14:00
East Grinstead v Cannock 14:00
Hampstead & Westminster v Reading 14:00

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

NOW: Pensions Conference North
Univ of Durham v Loughborough Students 12:00
Deeside Ramblers v Leek 12:00
Belper v Sheffield Hallam 12:30
Bowdon v Olton & West Warwicks 13:45
Wakefield v Doncaster 11:30

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

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, March 1 2015)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Beeston v Surbiton 12:45
East Grinstead v Brooklands Manchester Univ 14:00
Wimbledon v Cannock 14:00
Canterbury v Reading 14:15
Southgate v Hampstead & Westminster 14:30

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

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

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

NOW: Pensions Men’s Finals Weekend: 11-12 April 2015

Tickets to the dramatic conclusion of the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League are now on sale. This showpiece event has relocated to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the fantastic new venue of our international fixtures.

The Finals weekend will see England’s top men’s clubs compete for glory in the showpiece finale to the domestic leagues. Also on display will be the promotion tournaments where 9th place in the Premier Division battles it out against the winners of the three regional Conferences for two spots in the Premier Division for 2015/16. For full details, click here.

Advance tickets cost from £17.50 for adults and just £5 for U18s. Weekend tickets are also available from £22.50 for adults and £8 for U18s.

EXCITING CASH-BACK SCHEME FOR CLUBS

England Hockey launches a new cash-back scheme for affiliated clubs, available for the NOW: Pensions Men's Finals Weekend, Investec Women's Finals Weekend and Nations Cup this April. Click here for more information.