Big win for Hampstead sets up dramatic finale

Hampstead action 480x320
Play-off hopefuls Hampstead & Westminster beat strugglers Sevenoaks 10-2 in the Men’s Premier Division on Saturday to ensure their push for a play-off spot goes down to the last day of the season.

Currently fifth, but just one point away from the play-off spots, Hampstead & Westminster knew they had to make up a big goal difference to compete with their rivals.

And they responded well, scoring ten times to give themselves a realistic chance of making the play-offs assuming other results go their way on Sunday.

Sam French led the scoring with four goals while Will Calnan hit a double with Matt Guise Brown, Michael Watt, Kwan Browne and Stephen Dowds scored their other goals.

Brandon Gibbs and Tom Chandler scored the consolations for Sevenoaks who are destined to finish in the bottom two.

Hampstead & Westminster next visit struggling Canterbury on Sunday as they bid to overtake Reading or Surbiton.

The pressure is off for Wimbledon as they booked their place in the finals with a 2-1 defeat of Brooklands MU courtesy of goals from Johnny Kinder and Phil Ball.

The other team in contention, Surbiton, currently occupy third place but face leaders Beeston.

Earlier in the week, other sides in the Premier Division caught up with games postponed after the recent snowfall.

Wimbledon galvanised their play-off position with a 4-0 win over Sevenoaks on Wednesday with Simon Mantell’s brace sandwiched between goals from Ben Arnold and Ben Roe.

On Tuesday, East Grinstead beat Canterbury 5-1 and on Friday evening, Nick Bandurak was the star of the show as he netted five goals as Holcombe beat Canterbury 8-0.

Men’s Conference East
Old Georgians gave their survival hopes a shot in the arm with a 3-0 win against fellow Conference East strugglers Old Loughtonians. James Tindall hit a brace with Noah Sharples grabbing the other.

With Oxted having the title sewn up already Southgate and Teddington, in second and third respectively, are battling for second place and they met with Southgate winning 5-3.

Tom Barratt’s early strike, along with a John Sterlini brace and an Alex Williams goal had seen Southgate go 4-1 up by half time, although Teddington continued to battle.

In the other game of the day, Cambridge City battled back from 3-0 down to draw 4-4 with Richmond.

Men’s Conference West
Cardiff & Met’s push for the title in the Men’s Conference West suffered a knock when they were held to a 4-4 draw by Havant on Saturday.

That means the University of Exeter have the upper hand now in the race for promotion; the top two sides face each other on the final day but Cardiff need to beat Exeter by a 10-goal margin to be champions.

Cardiff looked to be heading for a routine win with a Jack Pritchard double helping them to a 4-1 lead. But goals from Ethan Hoddle, Adam Bloomfield and Jonathan Pickett tied the scores.

Tom Mallet and Chris Rawlings both hit a brace for Olton & West Warwicks as they took a 7-3 win against Isca and the University of Birmingham were 3-2 winners over Cheltenham.

Men’s Conference North
Loughborough Students missed the chance to go top in the Conference North after being held to a 3-3 draw away to Bowdon.

Goals from Rohan Bhuhi, Ronan Harvey-Kelly and Tendo Kimuli weren’t enough to take all three points. They could still win the title but are reliant on Nottingham losing to Doncaster on the final day.

Goals from Akshay Ahitan, Will Hearne, Liam Brown and Tom Brammer saw Sheffield Hallam take a 4-2 win against Deeside Ramblers. The Ramblers are fighting for their lives tomorrow, just a point off the bottom.

* Full results, tables and fixtures from the Men’s Hockey League are available here.