The Road to Lee Valley set to resume

Banbury celebrate scoring during the EH Trophy Final.

This weekend the Men’s Cup quarter finals take place. With a place in the final at Lee Valley now tantalisingly close things are hotting up in the knockout competitions. The Men’s Cup has produced more than its fair share of shock results so far and with some big names falling on their swords it looks like the cup is there for the taking.

Each of the ties this weekend has its own sub plot and intrigue. The all-national league tie between University of Birmingham and Surbiton looks like a terrific contest. With Surbiton rattling in 21 goals in the two previous rounds their attack will take some stopping. However, Birmingham’s young guns have accounted for fellow conference outfit Bowdon, Premier Division Cannock and Preston so far and will be undaunted by their illustrious visitors.

Sheffield University Bankers, winners of the Men’s Trophy last season have shown their prowess in the knockout competitions once again this season. Having accounted for Doncaster in the first round they hammered Sutton Coldfield 16-0 and saw off Barford Tigers in the last round to take their place in the quarter finals. A side who knows what it’s like to pick up silverware at Lee Valley they will be keen to repeat that trick this season. They’ve landed themselves a tough draw as they host Premier Division outfit Beeston. Whilst it has not been a vintage season for the Bees in the league, their cup form has been good with a number of young, promising players showing their skills alongside the more experienced heads. Beeston have a fantastic pedigree in the competition and will be determined to continue that tradition this weekend.

Local bragging rights as well as a place in the semi-finals will be up for grabs as Chichester welcome Havant. Havant, flying high in the South League will be hoping their good form continues and hands them the scalp of Conference outfit Chichester who have found the cup to be a welcome distraction from their league troubles. In the last round Chi accounted for Premier Division Hampstead and Westminster and will fancy their chances in what promises to be a cracking match.

The final clash of the round pits Banbury against City of Peterborough. Banbury have been arguably the story of the competition so far. The Oxfordshire side have beaten three teams from the Men’s Hockey League so far, dumping out Olton and West Warwicks, Teddington and then Canterbury via a penalty shootout to take their place in this round. Peterborough’s progress has been slightly more serene, but they smashed 12 goals in the first round and five in the last round to show they have plenty of firepower up their sleeve should they need it.

The Men’s Trophy and Vase as well as the Investec Women’s Trophy all have matches this weekend, so the end of the Road to Lee Valley is getting closer for these teams. Who will make it tthrough? We’ll soon find out.

All the cup draws will be live on Twitter this coming Sunday. Follow @englandhockey and the hashtag #roadtoleevalley and find out who’s in the hat for that coveted silverware.

The draws will take place on twitter as follows:

1800 hrs - Men’s Cup Semi-Final draw

1815 hrs - Men’s Trophy Quarter Final draw

1830 hrs - Men’s Vase Quarter Final draw

1845 hrs Investec Women’s Trophy Quarter Final draw