Canterbury face relegation play-offs after Brooklands MU loss

Team Bath Buccaneers, March 26 2017 - 450

Brooklands Manchester University guaranteed their Premier Division status for next season with a 3-2 defeat of fellow strugglers Canterbury as the Men’s Hockey League reached a thrilling finale.

Canterbury needed to win to avoid the relegation play-offs, but Brooklands took the lead after 22 minutes as Peter Flanagan found the net.

After the break, Dave Flanagan doubled their advantage but Craig Boyne gave Canterbury hope with a strike in the 42nd minute.

Ross Hall made it 3-1 on 53 minutes and although Boyne pulled another back for Canterbury, it wasn’t to be enough.

Wimbledon finish top of the table but had to settle for a point against fellow play-off qualifiers Surbiton on the last day of the season, drawing 3-3 despite having taken a 3-0 lead.

Goals from Phillip Ball, Johnny Kinder and Borja Llorens appeared to have put Wimbledon on the path to victory, but Arjan Drayton Chana, Gareth Furlong and then Luke Noblett scored to earn Surbiton a share of the spoils.

Already relegated Loughborough Students suffered a 6-1 home defeat at the hands of Reading.

James Carson and Ben Boon both scored twice for Reading with Kiran Patel and Rhys Doherty also on target. Elliot Smith scored the consolation for Loughborough.

The other two sides to qualify for the play-offs, Holcombe and Hampstead and Westminster, drew 3-3.

Ian Harvey, Gareth Andrew and Samuel Ward struck for Holcombe whilst Jonny Codling, Samuel French and Peter Makin scored for Hampstead.

Beeston moved ahead of East Grinstead into fifth in the final standings by defeating them 2-0, Richard Lawrence and Joe Sharp the goal heroes in the second half.


Men’s Conference East

Sevenoaks claimed the Conference East title - and a place in the promotion play-offs - in dramatic style after a 3-2 victory in their winner-takes-all match at Teddington.

Andrew Ross twice gave Sevenoaks the lead, only for Tim Davenport and Phil Lewis to hit back for the hosts.

A draw would have seen Teddington claim top spot, but Andrew Ross completed his hat trick two minutes from time with his 21st and most important goal of the campaign to give Sevenoaks the decisive win.

At the other end of the table, Indian Gymkhana won 4-2 at Wapping to ensure they will fight for survival in the relegation play off.

Hayden Beltz (2), Marius Gemmel and Marcus Mahne scored for the visitors, condemning Wapping to relegation, despite a brace from Ben Bull reducing the arrears to 3-2.

Elsewhere, Southgate finished third on goal difference as two goals from Simeon Bird helped them to a 4-2 home win over Brighton and Hove.

Cambridge City finished their season with a 5-2 win against Oxted, whilst Richmond beat West Herts 3-2.


Men’s Conference North

Bottom of the table Leek came up just short in their battle against relegation from the Men’s Conference North.

Going into the game they needed a win and an eight-goal swing to overturn the deficit to ninth-placed Oxton, and the Staffordshire side gave themselves a fighting chance as they beat Olton & West Warwicks 5-3, Richard Cordon scoring a hat trick.

Bowdon comprehensively defeated Oxton 8-3, Oliver Stoddart scoring five times to tie as the division’s leading goal scorer.

However, the seven-goal swing meant that Leek were still relegated on goals scored, Oxton living to fight another day in the relegation play-offs.

Durham univ captain Rory Patterson collects the trophy, March 26 2017

The University of Durham (pictured above) go into the promotion play-offs having won every league game this season after completing the perfect 18 wins from 18 games with a 3-2 defeat of Cannock.

Elsewhere there were final day wins for Doncaster over Preston, and Deeside Ramblers over Sheffield Hallam.


Men’s Conference West

Team Bath Buccaneers complete the promotion play-off line up after they took the Men’s Conference West title after a 7-0 home win over Cheltenham.

Realistically, a win was always likely to be enough for Bath barring a miraculous goal-swing and they saw the job through in style, Adam Croutear getting a hat trick and Ben Stone scoring two, while William Hewer and Stuart Rushmere were also on target.

As Team Bath wrapped up the division, chasers the University of Exeter and Cardiff and Met played out an exciting 4-4 draw, two goals in a minute from Owain Dolan Gray and Luke Hawker earned Cardiff a point.

Fareham face the relegation play offs after falling to a 5-3 defeat on the final day of the season at the University of Birmingham, George Sweeting netting twice for the hosts.

Isca would have faced the relegation play offs instead if not for a 68th minute penalty corner from Simon Tremlett which earned them a 1-1 draw at University of Bristol.

Three goals in the first seven minutes helped Chichester secure an impressive 5-0 home victory over Old Georgians to also avoid the relegation play offs.

* The above photograph shows Team Bath Buccaneers celebrating the Conference West title. Credit: Richard Barter.

Men’s Hockey League (Sunday 26 March, 2017):

Men's Premier Division: Beeston 2, East Grinstead 0; Canterbury 2, Brooklands MU 3; Hampstead and Westminster 3, Holcombe 3; Loughborough Students 1, Reading 6; Surbiton 3, Wimbledon 3.

Men’s Conference East: Cambridge City 5, Oxted 2; Richmond 3, West Herts 2; Southgate 4, Brighton and Hove 2; Teddington 2, Sevenoaks 3; Wapping 2, Indian Gymkhana 4.

Men’s Conference North: Bowdon 8, Oxton 3; Deeside Ramblers 4, Sheffield Hallam 1; Doncaster 6, Preston 2; Leek 5, Olton & West Warwicks 3; University of Durham 3, Cannock 2.

Men’s Conference West: Chichester 5, Old Georgians 0; Team Bath Buccaneers 7, Cheltenham 0; University of Birmingham 5, Fareham 3; University of Bristol 1, Isca 1; University of Exeter 4, Cardiff & Met 4.