Frontrunners prepare for battle

Surbiton's Alan Forsyth. Credit Simon Parker - 480x320
Reigning champions Surbiton host early leaders Beeston in this weekend’s most anticipated Men’s Hockey League Premier Division fixture on Sunday.

Surbiton suffered their first defeat of the season last weekend when they lost 4-2 at Holcombe, so will be aiming to get straight back to winning ways with a victory at Beeston.

But their Nottingham rivals will have other ideas and will want to maintain what is now the Premier Division’s only unbeaten record.

“It will be a tough game, but at this level you have to be respectful of every opponent,” said Surbiton’s manager Matt Jones. “We were very disappointed with ourselves for our performance at Holcombe last week.

“It shows that despite the brilliant performance the week before, we didn’t follow it up. So we’ve had a very clear focus on rectifying the things that we didn’t do at Holcombe.

“You often learn more from defeat than victory. Sometimes when you win you brush over some of the things that you should’ve done better, so this has been a good chance for us to take a long hard look at ourselves.”

Elsewhere on Sunday, East Grinstead head to Hampstead and Westminster in search of a win which could see them go top if Beeston falter at Surbiton.

Reading are also on the road with Brooklands MU their hosts, while Wimbledon host Holcombe and bottom of the table Canterbury entertain Sevenoaks in a Kent derby on Saturday evening as they look for their first points.

In the Men’s Conference North, leaders the University of Nottingham are hosting fourth-placed Cannock, while second-placed University of Durham face a tough trip to Loughborough.

Students, who will overtake them – and potentially go top of the table – if they win.

The University of Exeter host Fareham in the Men’s Conference West as they bid to hold on to top spot, while second-placed Olton and West Warwickshire go to Clifton Robinsons. Last season’s champions, Cardiff & Met, could go top if they win at Cheltenham.

And in the Men’s Conference East leaders Cambridge City travel to Brighton and Hove in a bid to preserve their unbeaten record, while second-placed Oxted go to Old Georgians.

* The above photograph shows Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth. Credit: Simon Parker.

Saturday, October 28 2017

Men’s Premier Division
Canterbury v Sevenoaks 17:30

Sunday, October 29 2017

Men’s Premier Division
Hampstead & Westminster v East Grinstead 13:30
Brooklands MU v Reading 14:00
Surbiton v Beeston 14:00
Wimbledon v Holcombe 14:00

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

Men’s Conference East
Chichester v Southgate 12:30
Brighton & Hove v Cambridge City 13:00
Teddington v Old Loughtonians 13:30
Old Georgians v Oxted 14:00
West Herts v Richmond 14:00

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