London rivals prepare for battle

Chris Gregg in action for Wimbledon versus Hampstead and Westminster. Credit Simon Parker - 450
London rivals Wimbledon and Hampstead & Westminster are preparing to do battle at Kings College Sports Ground in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday.

The two sides faced each other three times last season, twice in the league and once in the League Finals weekend, with Wimbledon winning twice and Hampstead and Westminster holding them to a draw on the other occasion.

“Games against Hampstead are always tough, and this will be no exception,” said Wimbledon’s Director of Hockey Ben Marsden. 

“Kwan Browne has done a good job, recruited well and got them very well organised.

“We will be looking to improve on last week’s performance against Beeston, it was a bit slow and nervy from both sides, but we think they are easy issues to fix.”

Wimbledon have been strengthened with Ed Horler and Jonty Griffiths joining from Loughborough over the summer, as well as Ali Brogdon from Rotterdam and Iain Lewers from Holcombe.

But Michael Hoare is out for another 6-8 weeks following surgery, and Phil Roper missed the Beeston game following a foot injury in training and is a doubt for the Hampstead clash.

Elsewhere, last season’s champions Surbiton – who beat Wimbledon in the Final back in April – have a home game against top flight newcomers Sevenoaks on Saturday evening.

Holcombe entertain Beeston on Sunday in their first league match of the season following the postponement of their opener at East Grinstead last weekend.

Similarly, East Grinstead make a delayed start to their league campaign with a trip to Brooklands Manchester University. And in the Premier Division’s other match-up, Reading are hosting Canterbury on Sunday. 

Newcomers the University of Nottingham made a great start to life in the Men’s Conference North when they won 4-2 at Preston last weekend, and they will want to keep that form going this weekend when they play Deeside Ramblers at home. Elsewhere, last season’s champions the University of Durham head to Sheffield Hallam. 

In the Men’s Conference East Southgate head to Oxted as they bid to continue their great start to the season, having won 6-1 at home against Old Georgians last Saturday. 

Second last season, Teddington play host to Brighton and Hove and are looking for their first Conference East win following a 1-1 draw at Cambridge City last weekend. 

And in the Conference West, Team Bath Buccaneers and Olton and West Warwicks both won 4-2 on the opening day of the season last weekend. They face each other this Sunday.

* The attached photograph shows Chris Gregg in action for Wimbledon versus Hampstead and Westminster. Credit Simon Parker.

FIXTURES
Saturday, September 30 2017

Men’s Premier Division
Surbiton v Sevenoaks 18:00

Men’s Conference East
Old Loughtonians v Chichester 17:00
Richmond v Cambridge City 18:00

Men’s Conference North
Loughborough Students v Bowdon 18:00

Sunday, October 1 2017

Men’s Premier Division
Brooklands MU v East Grinstead 14:00}
Holcombe v Beeston 14:00
Wimbledon v Hampstead & Westminster 14:00
Reading v Canterbury 14:30

Men’s Conference East
Oxted v Southgate 13:00
Teddington v Brighton and Hove 13:30
Old Georgians v West Herts 14:00

Men’s Conference North
Univ of Nottingham v Deeside Ramblers 12:30
Sheffield Hallam v Univ of Durham 13:30
Cannock v Preston 14:00
Doncaster v Leeds 14:00

Men’s Conference West
Univ of Exeter v Cheltenham 12:30
Clifton Robinsons v Cardiff & Met 13:00
Fareham v Isca 13:30
Olton & West Warwicks v Team Bath Buccaneers 13:30
Havant v Univ of Birmingham 14:00