Southgate relegated from Premier Division

20150315 Southgate v Canterbury-5 450


SOUTHGATE were relegated from the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division after losing out to rivals Canterbury on the final day of the season.

Canterbury - who escape automatic relegation – won 2-1 with goals coming from Wei Adams and Francesco Montoya. At 2-0 down, Darren Cheesman pulled one back for Southgate but it was too late to avoid the drop.

24 hours earlier, Southgate had to settle for a goalless draw against Hampstead and Westminster – themselves threatened with relegation.

For their part, Canterbury must now face play-offs against the champions of the three NOW: Pensions Conferences to preserve their top flight status.

Despite losing their final game 6-3 to Surbiton, Brooklands Manchester University survived, finishing eighth in the league, a point above Canterbury.

They needed a win to guarantee safety and battled well but couldn’t match the team sitting second in the table.

Alan Forsyth led the scoring with a hat-trick for Surbiton, who will head into the play-offs at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

After taking a point from Saturday’s draw with Southgate, Hampstead and Westminster also drew with play-off bound Wimbledon as Will Naylor scored in a game that ended 1-1. The two points are enough to ensure they finish in seventh.

East Grinstead top the table after beating Reading 4-1 courtesy of a hat-trick from Chris Griffiths.

Sam Ward was also a hat-trick hero as play-off bound Beeston beat Cannock 3-1.

NOW: Pensions Conference West

Team Bath Buccaneers were dramatically crowned champions of the NOW: Pensions Conference West after beating Whitchurch 4-0, while previous leaders Cardiff and Met lost.

There was a brace from Tim Davenport along with goals from Eugene Malthouse and Pavraj Lochab for Team Bath.

At the start of the day it looked to be Cardiff and Met who were to take top spot with a much better goal difference and just needed to beat sixth-placed Cheltenham to clinch the title.

But late goals from Peter Duffy and Tom Cole saw Cheltenham win 4-2 and destroy Cardiff’s hopes.

University of Birmingham enjoyed a strong finish, beating Barford Tigers 7-1. Josh Kelly scored a hat-trick in a result which sees Barford resigned to relegation play-offs. Indian Gymkhana survive the drop despite losing 4-2 to Fareham and Guildford were 4-1 winners against University of Exeter.

NOW: Pensions Conference North

Mike Shaw hit a brace as Bowdon ended their NOW: Pensions Conference North as unbeaten champions with a 4-1 defeat of relegated Belper.

Second-placed Sheffield Hallam signed off in style, beating Wakefield 7-3 with Liam Ansell finding the target twice.

University of Durham couldn’t find a way past Doncaster as they lost 3-2. Joe Morrison scored a hat-trick for the visitors.

Leek were already confirmed as relegation play-off candidates and ended with a 1-1 draw against Loughborough Students. Olton and West Warwicks beat Deeside Ramblers 3-1 with goals from Muhammed Irfan, Tom Mallett and Ed James.

NOW: Pensions Conference East

The bottom two both won their final games but still couldn’t climb out of trouble in the NOW: Pensions Conference East.

Old Loughtonians are relegated despite beating third-placed Cambridge City 3-1, and Teddington must go through the relegation play-offs despite beating second-placed Bromley and Beckenham 3-2

Richmond, who could also have finished bottom of the league, beat Brighton and Hove 3-1.

Holcombe will go into promotion play-offs in a confident mood having gone through the season unbeaten, and they overcame West Herts 8-4 with Gareth Andrew hitting three goals. There was also plenty of action in the game between Oxted and Chichester Priory Park with Oxted running out 9-4 winners.

* The above photo shows Canterbury celebrating their second goal against Southgate. Credit: Simon Parker.

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

NOW: Pensions Men's Premier Division: Southgate 0, Hampstead and Westminster 0.

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

NOW: Pensions Men's Premier Division: Beeston 3, Cannock 1; Southgate 1, Canterbury 2; East Grinstead 4, Reading 1; Surbiton 6, Brooklands Manchester University 3; Wimbledon 1, Hampstead and Westminster 1.

NOW: Pensions Men's Conference West: Cheltenham 4, Cardiff and Met 2; Guildford 4, University of Exeter 1; Indian Gymkhana 2, Fareham 4; University of Birmingham 7, Barford Tigers 1; Whitchurch 0, Team Bath Buccaneers 4.

NOW: Pensions Men's Conference North: Wakefield 3, Sheffield Hallam 7; University of Durham 2, Doncaster 3; Deeside Ramblers 1, Olton and West Warwicks 3; Leek 1, Loughborough Students 1; Bowdon 4, Belper 1.

NOW: Pensions Men's Conference East: Brighton and Hove 1, Richmond 3; Bromley and Beckenham 2, Teddington 3; Cambridge City 1, Old Loughtonians 3; Oxted 9, Chichester Priory Park 4; West Herts 4, Holcombe 8.

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.