PREVIEWS: Men's Hockey League

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Both unbeaten after the first two weeks of the season, Hampstead and Westminster and Beeston face each other in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday.

Hampstead battled to an edgy 1-0 win over former league champions Wimbledon last weekend, while Beeston secured a good 3-1 win at East Grinstead.

Hampstead and Westminster lost out in the league finals play-off to Surbiton back in April, but are already targeting the play-offs after a good summer of recruitment.

“We had a good summer,” confirmed David Stevens, Hampstead’s first XI manager. “Although we lost four or five players we gained four or five, and retained the core of our group. Our new recruits are good replacements so I think we’re a stronger team this season than last.

“Richard Smith still isn’t recovered from the hand injury he picked up against Reading, but he should be back in a few weeks. Other than that we’re at full strength.

“We were pleased to beat Wimbledon as they’re a very good side, but Beeston is another tough challenge.

“We know how we want to play and are prepared for them. They are a very good team and have a good young group so it’s another good challenge but we’re confident in the way we’re playing.”

Elsewhere, last season’s champions Surbiton go to East Grinstead on Saturday evening and will be looking to get back to winning ways after being held to a draw by newly-promoted University of Exeter.

Holcombe host Reading in Saturday night’s other match, while on Sunday Sevenoaks are at home against Brooklands MU in a match between two sides still looking for their first points.

Last season’s champions Oxted head to Canterbury in the Conference East, hoping to continue their good start following a 6-3 win at Cambridge City last weekend.

Old Georgians outdid them with a 7-1 win at the City of Peterborough, and they too will want to continue their free-scoring ways when they go to Teddington.

In the Conference North, last season’s champions the University of Nottingham play host to Doncaster on Sunday, while the University of Durham are at home against Belper on Saturday.

Chichester and the University of Bristol both enjoyed good wins in the Conference West last week, and they do battle this Sunday.

Meanwhile, Oxford Hawks go to Team Bath Buccaneers, while Olton & West Warwicks have a tough match at home against Cardiff & Met.

FIXTURES

Men’s Hockey League

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Premier Division
East Grinstead v Surbiton 18:00
Holcombe v Reading 18:00

Conference North
Univ of Durham v Belper 14:00

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Premier Division
Hampstead & Westminster v Beeston 13:30
Sevenoaks v Brooklands MU 14:00

Conference East
Oxted v Canterbury 12:45
Cambridge City v Richmond 13:30
Teddington v Old Georgians 13:30
Old Loughtonians v City of Peterborough 14:00
Southgate v Brighton & Hove 14:30

Conference North
Univ of Nottingham v Doncaster 13:00
Sheffield Hallam v Alderley Edge 13:30
Loughborough Students v Preston 14:00
Bowdon v Leeds 14:30

Conference West
Univ of Birmingham v Fareham 12:30
Chichester v Univ of Bristol 13:00
Team Bath Buccaneers v Oxford Hawks 13:00
Olton & West Warwicks v Cardiff & Met 13:30
Havant v Isca 14:00