PREVIEWS: Men's Hockey League

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Title-chasing Beeston play host to East Grinstead in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday, with both sides in need of a win to keep their place in the play-offs.

Currently third in the table, Beeston had to settle for a point from a 3-3 draw with the University of Exeter last weekend, and will need to be on top form to overcome fourth-placed East Grinstead.

“It’s an interesting match, for both teams,” said Beeston chairman and 1st XI manager Graham Griffiths with typical understatement.

“We’re still on a bit of a roller coaster at Beeston; it depends what team we get out there on the pitch. At times they are sensational, and at other times they are dreadful!

“It’s a young squad but they’re doing OK and we know what we have to do. We’ve got the internationals back this week, and having the GB captain Adam Dixon come back into your squad is great and the other players really feed off him.”

Leaders Surbiton go to Reading on Saturday evening as they bid to preserve top spot, while Hampstead & Westminster are also on the road and face Holcombe just half an hour earlier.

Brooklands MU still harbour hopes of reaching the play-offs and are just two points shy of fourth place. They are at home against relegation-threatened University of Exeter.

And in the other top flight match on Saturday, Sevenoaks are at home against Wimbledon in a match both teams will want to win to avoid the drop.

It’s very close in the Men’s Conference West with the top six teams separated by just eight points as they bid for a place in Division One next season following the league restructure.

Leaders Havant are at home against fourth-placed Oxford Hawks, while the University of Birmingham are second and have a visit from Cardiff & Met this weekend.

Leaders Old Georgians entertain Brighton & Hove in the Men’s Conference East on Saturday, while second-placed Oxted go to bottom of the table City of Peterborough.

And in the Conference North, table-topping Bowdon go to strugglers Belper, while the University of Durham host Leeds as they bid to keep their title aspirations alive.

At the other end of the table, bottom club Alderley Edge host Preston who are third from the bottom in a match both sides need to win.

FIXTURES

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, 2 March 2019)

Premier Division
Brooklands MU v Univ of Exeter 11:45
Beeston v East Grinstead 14:00
Sevenoaks v Wimbledon 15:00
Holcombe v Hampstead & Westminster 18:00
Reading v Surbiton 18:30

Conference East
Old Georgians v Brighton & Hove 13:00
Teddington v Old Loughtonians 13:30
City of Peterborough v Oxted 13:30
Canterbury v Richmond 16:00
Southgate v Cambridge City 17:30

Conference West
Isca v Fareham 12:00
Team Bath Buccaneers v Olton & West Warwicks 12:30
Havant v Oxford Hawks 13:30
Univ of Bristol v Chichester 13:30
Univ of Birmingham v Cardiff & Met 16:30

Conference North
Alderley Edge v Preston 12:00
Belper v Bowdon 14:00
Doncaster v Univ of Nottingham 14:00
Univ of Durham v Leeds 18:00
Sheffield Hallam v Loughborough Students 18:30