Champs Wimbledon face newcomers Holcombe

Champions Wimbledon 2014-15 - 450

Defending champions Wimbledon take on ambitious newcomers Holcombe in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday, in what looks set to be the game of the weekend.

Trailing two-nil at Brooklands Manchester University last weekend, Wimbledon hit back with two late goals to snatch a draw. Meanwhile Holcombe, littered with international stars, blasted seven past Canterbury.

“Even though Holcombe were in the Conference last season, they’re one of the strongest teams in the league and we will obviously be on our guard,” said Wimbledon Director of Hockey Ben Marsden.

“As champions we’re the team to beat, and everyone will want to knock us off our perch, but we’ve got to handle that pressure. We’re not reading too much into the performance at Brooklands – we were poor for 15 minutes in the first half, but other than that we did well.

“We were without three of our internationals for that match, but they’re all back for the Holcombe match, and we’re capable of winning any game.”

After hammering seven unanswered goals past East Grinstead last weekend, Surbiton will be aiming to keep their superb start going with a win at Brooklands Manchester University on Sunday.

At the same time, East Grinstead will want to bounce back as they host Beeston, who were beaten by one goal at Cannock, while Cannock head to Hampstead and Westminster this weekend.

In other top flight action, Canterbury are at home against Reading.

The University of Birmingham beat rivals the University of Exeter in their opening match in the Men’s Conference West last weekend. This Sunday they are at home again with Chichester Priory Park providing the opposition.

Meanwhile, early leaders Cheltenham take their turn at hosting the University of Exeter on Saturday afternoon.

In the Men’s Conference North, Loughborough Students will be aiming to keep another clean sheet when they head to Lichfield, while Deeside Ramblers travel to Lancashire to play Preston.

And on Saturday evening Conference East leaders Richmond - who put six past Teddington last weekend - face a Southgate side who also scored six, beating West Herts 6-2 last Sunday.

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, September 19 2015)

Conference West
Cheltenham v Univ of Exeter 12:30

Conference North
Doncaster v Bowdon 14:00

Conference East
Harleston Magpies v West Herts 14:00
Oxted v Sevenoaks 17:00
Richmond v Southgate 18:00

Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, September 20 2015)

Premier Division
Canterbury v Reading 12:45
Brooklands Manchester Univ v Surbiton 14:00
East Grinstead v Beeston 14:00
Wimbledon v Holcombe 14:00
Hampstead & Westminster v Cannock 14:00

Conference West
Indian Gymkhana v Fareham 14:00
Isca v Guildford 12:30
Univ of Birmingham v Chichester Priory Park 12:30
Team Bath Buccaneers v Cardiff & Met 13:00

Conference North
Lichfield v Loughborough Students 13:30
Sheffield Hallam v Wakefield 13:30
Univ of Durham v Olton and West Warwicks 14:00
Preston v Deeside Ramblers 14:00

Conference East
Teddington v Cambridge City 12:30
Bromley and Beckenham v Brighton and Hove 13:00