It all comes down to this...

Beeston 2013-14 champions 480

This weekend the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre plays host to the culmination of the NOW: Pensions Hockey League season with the final rounds of the promotion playoffs and the semi-finals and finals of the Championship playoffs all set to take place over an action packed two days.

The first round of the promotion playoffs took place a fortnight ago at Cannock Hockey Club where supporters of all four clubs were treated to some spectacular action.

Holcombe ran out 4-3 winners over Bowdon in an absorbing game in which the momentum see-sawed throughout. Mike Shaw struck two bullet penalty corners in addition to a Simon Egerton penalty stroke, but Holcombe hit back with goals from the excellent James Stedman, Stephane Vehrle-Smith and a brace from top scorer Gareth Andrew to take the win and another step towards the Premier Division.

Canterbury continued their resurgence with a stunning 7-1 demolition of Team Bath Buccaneers. Star striker Craig Boyne maintained his blistering form with a four goal haul to give his side a confidence boosting win and a precious three points.

The first of the games this Saturday pits the two Kent sides, winners in the first weekend against each other. Holcombe and Canterbury renew hostilities for local bragging rights and more importantly a win that would likely secure their place in the top flight for next season.

The second game of the day will be between Bowdon and Team Bath Buccaneers. With both sides experiencing disappointment in the first week of games, albeit in contrasting fashion, they know only a win will do if they are to maintain any hopes of reaching the top division for next season.

On Sunday, the final round of games take place with Bowdon and Canterbury going head to head and Bath facing off against Holcombe. With the playoffs set to go down to the wire, both games could prove to be crucial and dramatic in equal measure.

As well as the promotion playoffs, on Saturday afternoon the semi-finals of the championship playoffs take place. The first of the two clashes is a star-studded affair with no less than 14 Great Britain stars due to take to the field as table-toppers East Grinstead take on reigning champions Beeston, in a repeat of last year’s final. With the two sides scoring 127 goals between them this season and a galaxy of stars on show, this promises to be a thrilling clash for a place in Sunday’s showpiece final.

The second semi-final is not short of quality either, as Surbiton, who finished second in the league on goal difference behind East Grinstead face Wimbledon, who are making their first visit to finals weekend. Wimbledon had the better of the meetings between the two sides in the league; with a 4-1 win followed by a 3-3 draw later on in the season, however Surbiton have had an outstanding campaign, pushing East Grinstead right to the wire. Both sides have an array of attacking options on show and with both renowned for their free-flowing style of hockey, this promises to be a spectacular clash.

If you’d like to hear what the players from the four title contenders make of it all, check out our exclusive video below.

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.


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.