Brooklands boost their play-off ambitions

Surbiton's Alan Forsyth. Credit Tim Reder - 450

Surbiton’s challenge for top spot in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division was dealt a blow after they lost 5-3 to Brooklands Manchester University on Saturday afternoon.

Surbiton went into the game level on points with leaders Holcombe but were soon a goal down after Ross Hall struck inside five minutes.

Just a minute later, Surbiton levelled through Dave Beckett but goals from Peter Friend, Aidan Khares and Peter Cornell made it 4-1 to Brooklands with time running out.

A brace from Alan Forsyth was too little too late for Surbiton and Cornell’s second of the game sealed a fine win.

Reading further strengthened their grip on a top four place by beating Beeston 3-2 away from home. Chris Newman gave Reading the lead before Harry Martin equalised through a penalty stroke.

Goals from Ben Boon and Simon Mantell made it 3-1 to Reading but Martin still had time to grab another consolation, once again tucking home a penalty stroke.

Holcombe opened up a three-point lead at the top of the table with a 3-1 win over Wimbledon.

Nick Catlin fired home to give Holcombe the lead on 18 minutes, and Stephane Vehrle-Smith made it 2-0 at half time with a 33rd minute penalty corner.

Chris Gregg halved the deficit for Wimbledon on 53 minutes, only for Vehrle-Smith to find the net in the final minute.

A goal in each half from Andy Piper helped East Grinstead to a 5-2 win over Cannock, despite being two-nil down early in the game.

Cannock’s Jayshaan Randhawa scored in the first minute and Thomas Morris doubled their lead two minutes later, but East Grinstead soon hit back.

Goals from Piper and Tony Wilson levelled at 2-2 at half time, only for Piper to add another and Simon Faulkner and Wes Jackson also scored second half goals to snatch victory.

Canterbury took their first win of the season on Sunday with a 3-1 win away to Hampstead and Westminster. Wei Adams struck twice in the first half before James Spain added a third. Matthew Botha pulled one back for Hampstead with ten minutes remaining.

Men’s Cup

The quarter finals of the Men’s Cup took place on Sunday with both Premier Division clubs still involved progressing to the semis.

After losing 5-3 to Brooklands Manchester University on Saturday, Surbiton picked themselves to beat the University of Birmingham 3-1. David Beckett scored twice and Gareth Furlong added a third. Chris Way scored the consolation for Birmingham.

Beeston came through a tough tie away to Sheffield University Bankers as two goals from Richard Lawrence saw them beat their opponents 2-1. Drew Burkin was on target for Sheffield.

City of Peterborough were 5-2 winners against Banbury and in the other game, Chichester Priory Park booked their place in the next round with a 3-1 defeat of Havant.

Men's Conference West

Tom Watson was a man in top form as he scored all four of the University of Exeter’s goals in a 4-3 win over Chichester Priory Park.

Exeter were 4-0 up and cruising but a late fight back saw Chichester score three goals in the last 12 minutes.

The University of Birmingham closed the gap at the top with a win over Indian Gymkhana. Will Selfe scored the only goal of the game in the 40th minute. Cardiff have a game in hand over Birmingham and still hold a six point lead.

On Sunday, Cardiff and Met drew 0-0 with Team Bath Buccaneers, Fareham beat Cheltenham 2-1 and Guildford drew 2-2 with Isca.

Men's Conference East

Southgate went top of the Men’s Conference East table after beating rivals Richmond 3-1 thanks to goals from Simeon Bird, Jonty Robinson and Timmy Smyth. Charlie Ellison pulled one back for Richmond but it wasn’t enough. Elsewhere, Teddington were 4-2 winners at Bromley and Beckenham.

Robbert Schenk scored four goals as Oxted beat West Herts 4-3. Dan Webster scored a hat-trick for the visitors. Brighton and Hove beat Cambridge City 3-1 and Sevenoaks ran out 3-2 winners over Harleston Magpies.

Men's Conference North

University of Durham had a game in hand over Loughborough Students and they successfully used it to close the gap on the leaders of the Men’s Conference North with a 3-1 win over Olton and West Warwicks.

The game burst into life in the 27th minute with Ed James scoring for Olton and Jerry Smith notching for Durham.

But it was Durham who took the win as Jack Waller gave them the lead in the 45th minute and Smith hit his second on 59 minutes. They are now five points below Loughborough.

In the only other game on Saturday, Sheffield Hallam took a 3-2 win over Yorkshire rivals Wakefield. Luca Lixi, James Gunthorpe and Liam Brown scored for Hallam with Wakefield’s goals coming through Sam Shute and Dan Berry.

On Sunday, Bowdon moved up to second with a 5-0 win over Deeside Ramblers, leaders Loughborough Students won 3-2 against the University of Durham and the games between Preston and Lichfield and Doncaster and Olton and West Warwicks both ended 3-3.

* The above photograph shows Alan Forsyth, who scored twice for Surbiton. Credit: Tim Reder.

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, February 6 2016):

Men’s Premier Division: Beeston 2, Reading 3; East Grinstead 5, Cannock 2; Holcombe 3, Wimbledon 1; Surbiton 3, Brooklands MU 5.

Men's Conference West: Indian Gymkhana 0, University of Birmingham 1; University of Exeter 4, Chichester Priory Park 3.

Men's Conference North: Olton & West Warwicks 1, University of Durham 3; Wakefield 2, Sheffield Hallam 3.

Men's Conference East: Bromley and Beckenham 2, Teddington 4; Southgate 3, Richmond 1.

Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, February 7 2016):

Men’s Premier Division: Hampstead and Westminster 1, Canterbury 3.

Men's Conference West: Cheltenham 1, Fareham 2; Cardiff and Met 0, Team Bath Buccaneers 0; Guildford 2, Isca 2.

Men's Conference North: Loughborough Students 3, University of Durham 2; Doncaster 3, Olton and West Warwicks 3; Preston 3, Lichfield 3; Bowdon 5, Deeside Ramblers 0.

Men's Conference East: Oxted 6, West Herts 4; Brighton and Hove 3, Cambridge City 1; Sevenoaks 3, Harleston Magpies 2.

Men’s Cup quarter finals: Sheffield University Bankers 1, Beeston 2; Banbury 2, City of Peterborough 5; Chichester Priory Park 3, Havant 1; University of Birmingham 1, Surbiton 3.

League Finals weekend now on sale

The next big event in the club calendar is the League Finals Weekend on the 16th and 17th April – this year the Men’s and Investec Women’s Hockey Leagues Finals and playoffs are combined into one action-packed weekend at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre so drama is guaranteed!

League Finals Weekend tickets are on sale now Knockout Finals tickets will also go on sale soon on this page.

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