Double dreams in sight for Wimbledon

Wimbledon's Ali Brogdon. Credit Simon Parker - 450


AFTER beating them back in November, Wimbledon will be aiming to do the double over Surbiton as they battle to reach the play-offs in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Sunday’s match is crucial for both sides, with last season’s champions Wimbledon having climbed into fourth place following their win over Cannock last weekend, while Surbiton are second and looking to keep the pressure on leaders Holcombe.

“We were pleased with our performance last weekend,” said Wimbledon Director of Hockey Ben Marsden. “We feel that, after a couple of disappointing games before the Christmas break, we’ve turned a bit of a corner.

“But Surbiton are an organised team and have been consistently strong so we’re looking forward to it, but we are very aware that we need to bring our very best game.

“It’s very close between ourselves, Brooklands and East Grinstead, and every point will count. Every game will be difficult in the run in to the end of the season, Different teams will face different pressures so it’s going to be unpredictable. But we feel like we’re in a good place and our preparation has been good throughout the season.”

Elsewhere, Holcombe head to East Grinstead on Sunday in search of three points after having to settle for a draw against Reading last weekend.

Having held the leaders to a 3-3 draw, third-placed Reading hosts bottom of the table Canterbury as they bid to keep the pressure up.

For their part, Canterbury scored a shock 4-2 win over Surbiton last Saturday, and will be aiming to secure more points as their battle for survival continues.

And in the top flight’s other match, Beeston host Hampstead and Westminster. Both sides are still within reach of the play-offs, but could also get dragged into the relegation scrap.

In the Men’s Conference East, second-placed Richmond will be looking to keep pace with leaders Southgate when they hosts fourth-placed Cambridge City. Meanwhile, Southgate re also at home, against Teddington.

Leaders Loughborough Students head to Wakefield on Saturday in the Men’s Conference North, while Bowdon host Lichfield. And the University of Durham could move up to second if they beat Preston and Bowdon lose.

Team Bath Buccaneers moved up to second in the Men’s Conference West following last weekend’s win over Guildford, and they will want another three points as they host Isca on Sunday.

Leaders Cardiff and Met are back in action with a match at the University of Exeter, while the University of Birmingham are also in the mix, and travel to Fareham.

* The above photograph shows Wimbledon’s Ali Brogdon. Credit Simon Parker.

FIXTURES – Saturday, February 20

Men’s Hockey League

Men’s Conference North
Wakefield v Loughborough Students 13:30

Men’s Conference East
Brighton and Hove v West Herts 14:00

FIXTURES – Sunday, February 21

Men’s Hockey League

Men’s Premier Division
Reading v Canterbury 14:30
Beeston v Hampstead and Westminster 14:00
East Grinstead v Holcombe 14:00
Wimbledon v Surbiton 14:00
Cannock v Brooklands Manchester University 14:00

Men’s Conference West
University of Exeter v Cardiff and Met 12:30
Indian Gymkhana v Cheltenham 14:00
Team Bath Buccaneers v Isca 13:00
Fareham v University of Birmingham 13:30
Guildford v Chichester Priory Park 14:00

Men’s Conference North
Olton and West Warwicks v Sheffield Hallam 13:30
Bowdon v Lichfield 14:30
Deeside Ramblers v Doncaster 13:30
University of Durham v Preston 14:00

Men’s Conference East
Bromley and Beckenham v Harleston Magpies 13:00
Richmond v Cambridge City 13:30
Southgate v Teddington 14:30
Sevenoaks v Oxted 15:00

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 www.englandhockey.co.uk/tickets. Knockout Finals tickets will also go on sale soon on this page.