PREVIEWS: Men's Hockey League


Rivals Wimbledon and Surbiton do battle in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday, with visitors Wimbledon targeting home advantage for the play-offs.

Already assured of a place in the top four, Wimbledon want to leapfrog Hampstead & Westminster into second spot and give themselves the best chance of success in this month’s play-offs.

Both teams have been in great form, with Surbiton having won three of their last five matches while Wimbledon have won four.

“Home advantage is important; you want to play on a top quality surface, and it would be great to have home support,” said Wimbledon’s hockey director Simon Organ.

“Our focus this season was to make the play-offs, but now we are there we want to be successful! You want to finish as high you possible can.”

Hampstead & Westminster will want to retain second spot with a win at home against Beeston, while fourth-placed Old Georgians look to beat bottom of the table Reading and maintain their form going into the post-season.

Reading will want to upset Old Georgians’ rhythm though, with a victory meaning they could climb away from relegation danger depending on other results.

Reading have been ever-present in the top flight, winning the Premier Division six times. But it has been eight years since they last won the title, and their stay in the top flight could end this weekend.

Second bottom Brooklands MU – who Reading beat last weekend – are hosting East Grinstead, while the University of Exeter are also not safe from the drop and go to Holcombe in search of a win.

Leaders University of Durham face third-placed Cardiff & Met in the Men’s Division One North on Saturday, with the Welsh side needing a big win to maintain their slim hopes of the title.

Meanwhile, second-placed Bowdon host City of Peterborough on Sunday.

And in the Men’s Division One South Oxted could wrap up the title if they win at Southgate on Sunday. Second-placed Sevenoaks go to Teddington needing a win to maintain their title hopes, while Teddington could climb away from relegation danger if they win.

* Premier Division - An additional game between the losing men’s semi-finalists is now scheduled for 5 April at 1000 hrs. This is to cover the eventuality if England will have three places in the Euro Hockey League in 2020-21 which is dependent on Surbiton’s and other nations’ teams’ placings in the competition.

* Harborne have been deducted one point for fielding an unregistered player in their rearranged Conference West game at Isca on 22 February which they lost 1-0.


League Finals

The top four teams in the EHL Premier Divisions play off to be league champions. Semis - 1st v 4th and 2nd v 3rd. The winning semi-finalists qualify for the final.

The team finishing top of the Division at the end of the regular season take England’s second place in the following season’s European Club Championships the winners of the final are league champions and take England’s top place. If this is the same team then the losers of the final take the second European place.

As requested by teams the semi-finals this season are at home club venues. Men’s semis are on 29 March, Women’s semis are on 4 April.

The finals are on 5 April at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

1000hrs – Men’s losing semi-finalists play-off

1200 hrs – Men’s final

1430 hrs – Women’s final

Promotion & Relegation – Premier Division and Division 1 North & Division 1 South

The team finishing 10th in the Premier Division is relegated.

The winners of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off in a one-off match on 29 March at a neutral venue, Nottingham Hockey Centre. The winners of this match are promoted to the Premier Division.

The losers of this game play against the team finishing 9th in the Premier Division over two matches, home and away, with the winners on the aggregate score earning/retaining a Premier Division place.

5 April – Losers of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off v 9th Premier Division – Match 1

18 April – 9th Premier Division v Losers of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off – Match 2


Men’s Hockey League (Sat, 14 March 2020):

Men’s Division One North
Cardiff & Met v Univ of Durham 12:30
Univ of Nottingham v Sheffield Hallam 15:30

Men’s Division One South
Oxford Hawks v Canterbury 18:00

Men’s Conference West
Harborne v Old Cranleighans 16:30

Men’s Conference North
Deeside Ramblers v Timperley 12:00
Wakefield v Didsbury Northern 16:30

Men’s Hockey League (Sun, 15 March 2020):

Men’s Premier Division
Brooklands MU v East Grinstead 14:00
Hampstead & Westminster v Beeston 14:00
Holcombe v Univ of Exeter 14:00
Old Georgians v Reading 14:00
Surbiton v Wimbledon 14:00

Men’s Division One North
Univ of Birmingham v Olton & West Warwicks 12:30
Loughborough Students v Leeds 14:00
Bowdon v City of Peterborough 14:30

Men’s Division One South
Brighton & Hove v Team Bath Buccaneers 13:00
Teddington v Sevenoaks 13:30
Havant v Fareham 14:30
Southgate v Oxted 14:30

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

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

Men’s Conference North
Barford Tigers v Belper 13:00
Lichfield v Preston 13:30
Doncaster v Alderley Edge 14:00