ROUND-UP: Men's Hockey League

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The battle for the fourth and final play-off spot will go down to the last matches of the regular season after a thrilling set of results in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday.

Wimbledon gave themselves a lifeline by beating hosts Beeston 3-0, and with other top flight matches throwing up some unexpected results there are now five teams gunning for the last play-off place.

Jack Waller put Wimbledon a goal to the good in the first half before Chad Conlon and Ed Horler added to the score to leave his side with hope of post-season hockey.

Reading could also still scrape into the play-offs after a 5-2 win at the University of Exeter.

Craig Falconer and Peter Scott put Reading 2-1 up at the half, while James Thomas scored for the University of Exeter. Reading extended their lead after the break with Jack Clee and Fred Newbold both finding the net before Sam Hooper replied with a consolation for the hosts.

Surbiton assured themselves of playing in the Eurohockey League next season with an 8-1 win over bottom of the table Sevenoaks.

Arjan Drayton Chana and Alan Forsyth put them 2-0 up at the half, but Forsyth fired past the Sevenoaks keeper twice more after the break whilst Will Marshall bagged himself a brace and Tom Sorsby and Sam Spencer added the rest for Surbiton.

Andrew Ross scored a consolation goal for Sevenoaks.

A win for East Grinstead would have seen them secure the last play-off spot but they lost to Hampstead & Westminster.

Richard Smith put Hampstead up after three minutes, and it stayed that way until Liam Ansell replied for East Grinstead. However, Rupert Shipperley’s last minute strike saw Hampstead & Westminster take the game 2-1.

Holcombe failed to capitalise on that news, drawing 1-1 with Brooklands MU.

Harry Trusler scored for Holcombe before being pegged back in the second half by a Peter Flanagan penalty corner. Both sides remain in contention for the playoffs.

Men’s Conference East

Canterbury survived a fightback from Brighton & Hove in the Men’s Conference East, winning 5-4 after a thriller.

Two goals from Teague Marcano and others from Craig Boyne and Will Mead had helped the Kent side to a 4-1 half time lead.

Matt Burton-Bowen added another shortly after play resumed, but Brighton hit back with three second half goals to make a fight of it. However, Canterbury held their nerve and remain second in the table.

While the top four are assured of Division One hockey following next season’s restructure, others are still fighting for survival.

The City of Peterborough boosted their hopes with a 4-3 win over Old Loughtonians, while in other results Richmond lost 5-1 to high-flying Oxted, Teddington beat Cambridge City 6-1 and champions Old Georgians were 5-2 winners at Southgate.

Men’s Conference North

Bowdon wrapped up the Men’s Conference North title, crowning themselves champions after prevailing in a clash of the top two against the University of Durham.

The Cheshire side went 3-1 ahead thanks to goals from Archie Phillips, Will Tobin and Ben White before Benedict Park’s strike threatened to bring the University of Durham back into the game.

It wasn’t to be for the North East side who could have pushed for the top spot in the final week had they won.

Bottom side Alderley Edge restored some pride to their season by beating Leeds 6-3 along with second-bottom Belper whitewashing Doncaster 6-0.

Elsewhere the University of Nottingham held on for a 4-3 win at Loughborough Students whilst Sheffield Hallam were held to a 2-2 draw by Preston.

Men’s Conference West

Havant secured the Men’s Conference West title by beating Chichester 3-1 with goals coming from Ethan Hoddle, Atiq Arshad and Christopher Smith.

Jack Biggs scored four goals in Oxford Hawks 8-4 win over the University of Birmingham, but with Havant winning their hopes of the title were scuppered.

Team Bath Buccaneers racked up the best scoreline of the day by beating bottom side Isca 9-1 with Stuart Rushmere finding the back of the net three times.

Elsewhere Fareham were 2-1 winners at the University of Bristol, while Cardiff & Met drew 2-2 with Olton & West Warwicks.

RESULTS:

Men’s Premier Division: Beeston 0, Wimbledon 3; Hampstead & Westminster 2, East Grinstead 1; Holcombe 1, Brooklands Manchester University 1; Surbiton 8, Sevenoaks 1; University of Exeter 2, Reading 5.

Men’s Conference East: Canterbury 5, Brighton & Hove; City of Peterborough 4, Old Loughtonians 3; Richmond 1, Oxted 5; Southgate 2, Old Georgians 5; Teddington 6, Cambridge City 1.

Men’s Conference North: Alderley Edge 6, Leeds 3; Belper 6, Doncaster 0; Bowdon 3, University of Durham 2; Loughborough Students 3, University of Nottingham 4; Sheffield Hallam 2, Preston 2.

Men’s Conference West: Cardiff & Met 2, Olton & West Warwicks 2; Havant 3, Chichester 1; Oxford Hawks 8, University of Birmingham 4; Team Bath Buccaneers 9, Isca 1; University of Bristol 1, Fareham 2.