Southgate face relegation rivals

Southgate goalkeeper Allan Dick makes a save v Beeston. Credit Simon Parker - 450


SOUTHGATE face relegation rivals Hampstead and Westminster and Canterbury this weekend as the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division heads for a thrilling conclusion.

Their fate is in their own hands as they face fellow London side Hampstead and Westminster in a re-arranged match on Saturday, before also hosting Canterbury 24 hours later.

All three teams are in the relegation zone and could technically finish bottom and go down. However, given the relative goal differences it would take some large scores for Hampstead and Westminster to finish there.

Ninth place brings with it a place in the play-offs with the three Conference winners and if results go against them Brooklands MU, who face Surbiton, could also face that fate.

“It’s a huge weekend for us,” said Southgate coach Jonty Robinson. “We knew that there was a good chance that it would boil down to this. The fixture list has worked well for us, especially when you look at the other guys around us in the table who are playing some bigger teams.

“We’ve got some guys unavailable for this weekend, but we will still have a really competitive, strong team. And it’s great playing both games at home. We’ve for a fantastic set-up and a very vocal support, so it will make a big difference for us.”

And following the Southgate clash, Hampstead and Westminster are back on the road on Sunday when they travel to Wimbledon, who will want to preserve third spot and gain a better draw in the play-offs, which this year are being staged at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

Elsewhere leaders East Grinstead are at home against Reading. They are level on points with Surbiton. Surbiton would need to overturn a goal difference deficit of four to pip them for top spot which comes with a place in next season’s EuroHockey League. Fourth-placed Beeston host Cannock as they bid to catch Wimbledon.

In the NOW: Pensions Conference West, title rivals Cardiff and Met and Team Bath Buccaneers go into a decisive final day level on points. Cardiff, who have a vastly superior goal difference, go to Cheltenham, while Bath travel to relegated Whitchurch.

Elsewhere, Barford Tigers make the short trip to the University of Birmingham as they bid to avoid the relegation play offs. If they win then Indian Gymkhana or University of Exeter could slip to ninth.

Champions Bowdon host rock-bottom Belper in the NOW: Pensions Conference North as they aim to stay unbeaten. The visitors must win to stand any chance of avoiding automatic relegation as they try to overhaul second-bottom Leek.

In the NOW: Pensions Conference East champions Holcombe smashed the 100-goal barrier last week and go to West Herts looking to keep their unbeaten tag.

Bottom club Old Loughtonians who have been in the league since its inception in 1988, go to Cambridge City as one of three teams that could be relegated or face play offs. Richmond and Teddington are also fighting to avoid the drop.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, March 14 2015)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Southgate v Hampstead and Westminster 12:00

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, March 15 2015)

NOW: Pensions Premier Division
Surbiton v Brooklands MU 14:00
Beeston v Cannock 14:00
East Grinstead v Reading 14:00
Southgate v Canterbury 14:00
Wimbledon v Hampstead and Westminster 14:00

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

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

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