PREVIEWS: Men's Hockey League

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Third in the table last season, Beeston are third-bottom in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division after six matches, but they face bottom of the table Reading in a crucial clash on Saturday.

Both team’s hopes of avoiding the drop and climbing the table would receive a boost with a victory this weekend, but neither can take anything for granted.

“This is do-or-die for us, it’s as simple as that,” said Beeston’s first team manager Graham Griffiths. “We’ve got to get three points out of it, so I don’t think we’ll be sitting back. We have to attack and get the goals.

“We haven’t been a settled side so far, with the GB lads out, and the new youngsters still gelling. It’s been a different team every game and every training session, so it’s not easy when you don’t know who you’re playing alongside.”

At the other end of the table, leaders Surbiton play host to Holcombe as they bid to make it six wins from their first six games, while fifth-placed Holcombe will want to be the first to inflict defeat on Surbiton and maintain their push for a top four place.

Second-placed Old Georgians are also yet to lose a league match this season, and they go to Brooklands MU aiming to keep that record intact.

Currently lying third and fourth, Wimbledon and Hampstead & Westminster face each other on Saturday evening with Hampstead having switched the game to Lee Valley. The day’s other top flight action sees the University of Exeter go to East Grinstead.

It’s a big weekend at the top of the Men’s Division One North where leaders Cardiff & Met travel to Leeds on Saturday then play third-placed University of Durham on Sunday. Durham travel to second-placed Bowdon on the Saturday.

At the other end of the table, the bottom two play each other with the City of Peterborough hosting Sheffield Hallam.

Top plays bottom in the Men’s Division One South, with strugglers Oxford Hawks at home against leaders Oxted. Elsewhere, Teddington are level with Oxted and could go top if they win at Canterbury.


Men’s Hockey League (Sat, 26 October 2019):

Premier Division
East Grinstead v Univ of Exeter 13:30
Beeston v Reading 14:00
Brooklands MU v Old Georgians 14:00
Surbiton v Holcombe 18:00
Hampstead & Westminster v Wimbledon 18:15 at Lee Valley HTC

Division 1 North
Olton & West Warwicks v Univ of Nottingham 12:00
Univ of Birmingham v Loughborough Students 13:30
Bowdon v Univ of Durham 13:45
City of Peterborough v Sheffield Hallam 15:00
Leeds v Cardiff & Met 18:00

Division 1 South
Team Bath Buccaneers v Brighton & Hove 13:00
Southgate v Fareham 14:30
Oxford Hawks v Oxted 17:00
Sevenoaks v Havant 17:00
Canterbury v Teddington 18:00

Conference East
London Edwardians v Chichester 12:00
Harleston Magpies v Old Loughtonians 13:30
Bromley & Beckenham v Wapping 14:30
St Albans v Spencer 15:00
Cambridge City v Bedford 16:30

Conference West
Isca v Univ of Bristol 12:00
Cheltenham v Cardiff University 12:30
Old Cranleighans v Khalsa Leamington 14:30
Harborne v Ashmoor 16:30
Richmond v Univ of Exeter 18:00

Conference North
Barford Tigers v Doncaster 13:00
Lichfield v Didsbury Northern 13:30
Alderley Edge v Deeside Ramblers 14:00
Preston v Belper 14:00
Timperley v Wakefield 18:00

Men’s Hockey League (Sun, 27 October 2019):

Division One North
Univ of Durham v Cardiff & Met 14:30