ROUND-UP: Men's Hockey League


Six-time Premier Division winners Reading were relegated from the top flight of the Men’s Hockey League after losing out 5-2 to Old Georgians on Sunday.

Ever-present in the top league of hockey, Reading needed to beat Old Georgians and hope the University of Exeter lost to avoid automatic relegation.

Old Georgians took a 2-0 lead with goals from Sam Ward and Ed Carson, but Reading’s fighting spirit shone through and they battled back to 2-2 with goals on 33 and 51 minutes from Andrew Oxburgh and Charlie Ellison.

However, Old Georgians went on to clinch the win with further goals from Matt Richards, Sam Ward and Lee Morton.

Meanwhile, the University of Exeter were beaten 3-2 at Holcombe and will have to go through the promotion play-offs against the Division One winners to secure their top flight status.

Sam Hooper gave Exeter the lead on 16 minutes, and although Nick Bandurak levelled for Holcombe the visitors retook the lead with Archie Winter scoring on 23 minutes.

However, second half goals from Anton Parenta Varela and Tom O’Keeffe proved enough for a Holcombe win.

A hat-trick from Phil Roper helped Wimbledon beat hosts Surbiton 3-1, inflicting their first league loss of the season.

David Goodfield pulled one back for the table toppers, but they couldn’t overhaul in-form Wimbledon.

Hampstead & Westminster’s 2-0 win over Beeston was enough for them to clinch second spot and home advantage for the play-offs, Rupert Shipperley scoring both their goals in the second half.

And Brooklands MU ensured their Premier Division survival with a 2-1 win over East Grinstead to overtake the University of Exeter.

Thomas Lush scored a goal in each half for Brooklands, while Dylan Holland scored for East Grinstead.

Division One North

The University of Durham have a two-point advantage going into the final game of the Division One North season after picking up a 3-1 victory at Cardiff & Met on Saturday.

Phillip Jansen, Barney Wilkinson and Ross Vides netted the three goals for the league leaders while Gareth Furlong scored the only goal for Cardiff & Met.

Second-placed Bowdon maintained the pressure at the top of the table after winning 7-1 at home against City of Peterborough.

The visitors took the lead in the first minute after Brendan Andrews netted from open play.

Simon Egerton scored a hat-trick, Matt Steventon bagged a brace and Richie Dawson-Smith and Daniel Campbell netted one a piece to seal all three points for the home side.

Elsewhere, Loughborough Students won 4-1 at home against Leeds, the University of Birmingham won 4-3 against Olton & West Warwicks and the University of Nottingham versus Sheffield Hallam ended 2-2.

Division One South

Oxted sealed the Division One South title and a place in the promotion play-offs after securing a point in a 4-4 draw at Southgate on Sunday.

Nick Cooper, John Sterlini, Jonny Maunder and Alex Williams scored the goals before half time to give the home side a 4-1 lead going into the break.

But Timothy Guise-Brown netted a hat-trick for the title winners and Nick Giles bagged the fourth from open play as Oxted completed their comeback.

Sevenoaks missed the chance to take their title challenge to the last day of the season as they could only manage a 3-3 draw at Teddington.

Craig Wiid (2) and Lewis Wilcher netted for the away side while Ed Greaves and Kyle White (2) scored for Teddington.

Elsewhere, Brighton & Hove versus Team Bath Buccaneers finished 2-2 at full time and Oxford Hawks won 5-2 at home against Canterbury.

Conference East

The battle for the title will go all the way to the final day of the season in the Men’s Conference East as Cambridge City and Wapping remain neck and neck at the top on 41 points.

Wapping were involved in a ten-goal thriller where they were ultimately victorious, beating Harleston Magpies 6-4.

Wapping were 5-0 up at half time, but a spirited comeback and a Ben Gowing hat-trick saw Harleston bring the score back to 5-3 before Morgan Harries scored Wapping’s sixth in the 63rd minute to seal the win.

Two second-half goals from Euan Gilmour saw Cambridge City stay top of the table in a 3-1 win at London Edwardians.

Bedford stay bottom of the table after losing 3-0 at Spencer and the Old Loughtonians beat Chichester 3-2 in a clash between third and fourth.

Conference North

Deeside Ramblers wrapped up the Men’s Conference North title with a 3-1 win at home to Timperley.

Rashad Al-Fazari opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a field goal, but Timperley equalised early in the second half thanks to David Halkyard’s penalty corner. Goals from Tom Fearnall and Christopher Barber gifted victory and the title to Deeside, who have only lost one game all season.

Second-placed Barford Tigers beat third placed Belper 2-1, with Damian Jarzembowski and Navraj Degun scoring the goals.

Alderley Edge remain bottom after they lost 2-0 at Doncaster, a brace from Matt Gibson gave the South Yorkshire side all three points.

Conference West

Muhammad Irfan notched four goals in a thrilling 4-4 draw between Khalsa Leamington and Ashmoor in the Men’s Conference West.

Ashmoor went into the break leading 3-1, but a second half hat trick in the space of 11 minutes from Irfan saw Khalsa Leamington complete the comeback to lead 4-3. However, Max Romer-Lee’s 59th minute field goal ensured that the points were shared.

Champions Old Cranleighans showed no sign of letting their foot off the gas as they beat Harborne 2-1 away from home. The goals coming from Matt Murphy and Hugh Robinson.

Cheltenham also completed an impressive comeback after they found themselves trailing 3-1 to Isca at the break, second half goals from Alex Salmon and Morgan Powell-Jones ensured they left Isca with a point, the game finishing 3-3.


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

Division One North: Cardiff & Met 1, Univ of Durham 3; Univ of Nottingham 2, Sheffield Hallam 2.

Division One South: Oxford Hawks 5, Canterbury 2.

Conference West: Harborne 1, Old Cranleighans 2.

Conference North: Deeside Ramblers 3, Timperley 1; Wakefield 1, Didsbury Northern 5.

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

Premier Division: Hampstead & Westminster 2, Beeston 0; Holcombe 3, Univ of Exeter 2; Surbiton 1, Wimbledon 3; Old Georgians 5, Reading 2; Brooklands MU 2, East Grinstead 1.

Division One North: Bowdon 7, City of Peterborough 1; Loughborough Students 4, Leeds 1; Univ of Birmingham 4, Olton & West Warwicks 3.

Division One South: Brighton & Hove 2, Team Bath Buccaneers 2; Southgate 4, Oxted 4; Teddington 3, Sevenoaks 3.

Conference West: Isca 3, Cheltenham 3; Khalsa Leamington 4, Ashmoor 4; Cardiff Univ 5, Univ of Exeter 2s 2.

Conference North: Barford Tigers 2, Belper 1; Lichfield 2, Preston 3; Doncaster 2, Alderley Edge 0.

Conference East: London Edwardians 1, Cambridge City 3; Spencer 3, Bedford 0; Old Loughtonians 3, Chichester 2; St Albans 1, Bromley & Beckenham 1; Wapping 6, Harleston Magpies 4.


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 in order to ensure Great Britain internationals are available for their clubs.

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

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