PREVIEWS: Men's Hockey League

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The first team to take points off leaders Surbiton, the University of Exeter will be aiming to do the same again as they begin the second half of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division with a home game against the reigning champions on Sunday.

September’s 1-1 draw turned heads as the top flight newcomers took their first points, but since then they have only secured three more points despite playing some good hockey.

Simon Tyson, University of Exeter’s Manager, said: “We’re looking forward to the second half of the season, starting with Surbiton. They’re obviously a top team and as with most of our fixtures in the Premier Division, we’ll be playing against one of our old boys, this time James Royce.

“We were disappointed not to get more points on the board in the first half of the season given that almost all of our games have been close affairs. The squad is now much more experienced at Premier Division level than at the beginning of the season and we’re confident that we can pick up some results over the coming weeks.

“The winter break has been busy for us. We re-entered indoor competition for the first time in a few years and secured three promotions, losing only once in 16 games. This has complemented our outdoor game and helped us to retain a good level of sharpness going into this weekend.”

Should Surbiton fail to take maximum points, Hampstead & Westminster could be there to leapfrog them to go top of the table. They face third bottom Wimbledon.

Elsewhere, third-placed Beeston host Brooklands MU. Beeston are only three points off the top two and could go level with the top two if results go their way, whilst bottom side Sevenoaks face mid-table Reading in their quest for a first win of the season.

In the Men’s Conference East unbeaten leaders Old Georgians have a home game against Teddington, while second-placed Oxted go to Canterbury who are third. A win for either side will see them second.

And at the other end of the table there’s a crucial game at bottom of the table Richmond on Sunday when they host third-bottom Cambridge City who are just two points ahead.

We could have a new leader in the Men’s Conference North after this weekend.

Current table toppers Bowdon are at home against third-placed University of Nottingham, who could go top if they secure a big win. They will also need second-placed University of Durham to lose to Loughborough Students.

And in the Men’s Conference West headers Olton & West Warwicks head to Oxford Hawks as they bid to pull clear of Havant, who are level on points.

FIXTURES

Men’s Hockey League (Friday, 8 February 2019)

Men’s Conference West
Univ of Bristol v Team Bath Buccaneers 19:45

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, 9 February 2019)

Men’s Conference North
Leeds v Belper 18:00
Univ of Durham v Loughborough Students 18:00

Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, 10 February 2019)

Men’s Premier Division
Univ of Exeter v Surbiton 12:30
Beeston v Brooklands MU 14:00
Wimbledon v Hampstead & Westminster 14:00
Reading v Sevenoaks 14:30

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

Men’s Conference West
Univ of Birmingham v Isca 12:30
Fareham v Chichester 13:30
Oxford Hawks v Olton & West Warwicks 14:00

Men’s Conference North
Alderley Edge v Sheffield Hallam 14:00
Doncaster v Preston 14:00
Bowdon v Univ of Nottingham 14:30