PREVIEWS: Men's Hockey League

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The top two teams face each other in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division this weekend, with both Old Georgians and Surbiton welcoming back several Great Britain stars following qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Having scored his 100th international goal at the weekend, Alan Forsyth may return for Surbiton at the weekend alongside James Gall, Harry Gibson, Tom Sorsby and Zach Wallace.

George Pinner is also set to return in goal for Old Georgians with Liam Sanford also due to play, although Sam Ward and Ashley Jackson are unavailable due to injury.

Just one point separates unbeaten leaders Surbiton from second-placed Old Georgians and, even though Surbiton have played one game less, Saturday evening’s match still looks set to be a close one.

“This is going to be a great game, and one we’ve been looking forward to for a while as it’s a local derby and a top of the table clash,” said Old Georgians’ club captain Tom Doran.

“We’re obviously without Sam Ward following the injury he picked up, and he’s gutted to be missing, but he will recover and will still come down and support us all. Apart from that we’re at full strength and are looking good.

“The coaches and staff have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to get ready for this match, so we as players just have to turn up and produce the goods now.”

In Saturday evening’s other match East Grinstead go to Reading in need of points to boost their push for a top four spot.

Wimbledon lie third and will want to secure another win when they host Brooklands MU on Sunday, with Phil Roper, Ian Sloan and Jack Waller all in line to return for the south west London team.

Meanwhile reigning champions will be looking to hold onto fourth place as they go to the University of Exeter and will welcome back Will Calnan, Harry Martin and Jacob Draper.

Finally, the top flight’s other match sees Beeston – who are expected to feature GB captain Adam Dixon and defender Ollie Willars - go to Holcombe on Sunday afternoon.

In the Men’s Division One North leaders University of Durham have a home game against Olton & West Warwicks on Saturday afternoon, while the rest of the Division plays on Sunday with second-placed Cardiff & Met playing host to the University of Birmingham.

Leaders Teddington go to second-placed Sevenoaks in the Men’s Division One South, with the winners likely to take top spot. Elsewhere third-placed Southgate head to Team Bath Buccaneers in search of victory, and could also go top of the table.

FIXTURES

Men’s Hockey League (Sat, 9 November 2019):

Premier Division
Old Georgians v Surbiton 18:00
Reading v East Grinstead 18:30

Division One North
Univ of Durham v Olton & West Warwicks 14:30

Division One South
Oxford Hawks v Fareham 17:00

Conference East
Chichester v Spencer 15:00
Wapping v St Albans 18:00

Conference North
Preston v Belper 14:00

Men’s Hockey League (Sun, 10 November 2019):

Premier Division
Univ of Exeter v Hampstead & Westminster 12:00
Holcombe v Beeston 14:00
Wimbledon v Brooklands MU 14:30

Division One North
Cardiff & Met v Univ of Birmingham 12:30
Sheffield Hallam v Leeds 12:45
Loughborough Students v City of Peterborough 14:00
Univ of Nottingham v Bowdon 14:00

Division One South
Havant v Canterbury 12:30
Brighton & Hove v Oxted 13:00
Team Bath Buccaneers v Southgate 13:00
Sevenoaks v Teddington 14:00

Conference East
London Edwardians v Harleston Magpies 12:30
Bedford v Bromley & Beckenham 14:00
Old Loughtonians v Cambridge City 14:00

Conference West
Cheltenham v Isca 12:30
Ashmoor v Khalsa Leamington 13:00
Richmond v Cardiff University 13:30
Univ of Bristol v Old Cranleighans 14:00
Univ of Exeter 2s v Harborne 14:00

Conference North
Deeside Ramblers v Preston 13:30
Lichfield v Barford Tigers 13:30
Wakefield v Belper 14:15
Alderley Edge v Doncaster 14:30
Didsbury Northern v Timperley 14:30