PREVIEWS: Men's Hockey League

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After securing an emphatic victory in the Jaffa Super 6s Indoor Championship, Surbiton return to outdoor action in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division with a trip to Hampstead & Westminster on Sunday.

Sitting pretty at the top of the table with 12 wins from their 12 matches so far, Surbiton have already qualified for the play-offs and are looking to keep their form going for the remainder of the season.

“The Jaffa Super 6s are the only relevant way of maintaining a suitable level of fitness and sharpness during the winter break,” said Matt Jones, Surbiton’s team manager.

“It is without doubt a fundamental building block for some essential core skills that directly translate onto the outdoor pitch. It goes as no surprise that the leading European nations take their indoor hockey very seriously and it has demonstrative benefits.”

Surbiton will be without six GB internationals who have recently returned from Australia and New Zealand, and Jones added: “Clearly that will affect us and it’s a great shame, this being one of the big match ups of the regular season. But at the Jaffa Super 6s finals we competed without any of our internationals.”

Currently occupying the fourth and final play-off spot, Old Georgians play host to Beeston who are ten points behind them in fifth and will be aiming to close the ten-point gap between the two sides.

Elsewhere, the bottom two sides take each other on with the University of Exeter at home against Reading.

Just above them, Brooklands MU go to Holcombe who are four points above them in the table.

East Grinstead are taking part in the European Indoor Club Trophy in Turkey this weekend.

The top two teams in Division One North Durham University and Cardiff & Met played their match earlier in the season as Cardiff are in the European Indoor Club Challenge in Bulgaria this weekend. This leaves the door open for third-placed Bowdon to close the gap if they can win at City of Peterborough on Sunday.

Oxted play host to Brighton & Hove in Division One South as they bid to extend their lead, while second-placed Havant also have a home game with Oxford Hawks providing the opposition.

Saturday afternoon sees Chichester travel to Spencer in the Conference East with both sides wanting to potentially move up to second, while current leaders Wapping go to St Albans and second-placed Cambridge City head to bottom of the table Bromley & Beckenham.

Richmond are targeting the lead in the Conference West with a match at the University of Bristol on Sunday. Meanwhile, current leaders Old Cranleighans are two points ahead and entertain Cardiff University.

Currently third and fourth in the Conference North table, Timperley head to Lichfield on Sunday, while second-placed Belper are at home against Didsbury Northern. Leaders Deeside Ramblers will want to continue their good form with a home game against Alderley Edge.

FIXTURES

Men’s Hockey League (Sat, 15 February 2020):

Division One North
Sheffield Hallam v Loughborough Students 18:30

Conference East
Spencer v Chichester 13:30
Old Loughtonians v London Edwardians 14:30

Conference West
Harborne v Khalsa Leamington 16:30


Men’s Hockey League (Sun, 16 February 2020):

Premier Division
Hampstead & Westminster v Surbiton 13:30
Holcombe v Brooklands MU 14:00
Old Georgians v Beeston 14:00
Univ of Exeter v Reading 14:00

Division One North
Univ of Nottingham v Olton & West Warwicks 13:00
City of Peterborough v Bowdon 14:00
Leeds v Univ of Birmingham 14:30

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

Conference East
Bromley & Beckenham v Cambridge City 14:00
Harleston Magpies v Bedford 14:00
St Albans v Wapping 14:00

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

Conference North
Deeside Ramblers v Alderley Edge 13:30
Lichfield v Timperley 13:30
Belper v Didsbury Northern 14:00
Preston v Barford Tigers 14:00
Wakefield v Doncaster 14:15