Previews: Men's Hockey League Round 2

Previews: Men's Hockey League Round 2
The second weekend of competition in the Men’s EHL Premier Division sees some fascinating clashes between the ten teams in action.

“We are really looking forward to hosting Surbiton this weekend, they are a good, family club that try and do the right things on and off the pitch,” says Head Coach Mark Wadsley in a generous tribute to Beeston’s next opponents.

“We have had some great battles in the past and aim to be competitive on Sunday. Surbiton have threats all over the pitch and can score from open play and set pieces, so we can't worry too much about what they can do.

“Our focus is more on us and how we can take care of the ball better to create opportunities, but also reduce cheap turnovers which Surbiton will pounce on.

“The group are in a better place this season, we have some more depth but more importantly greater focus within the team. This had led to better individual performances during pre-season and part of that resulted in us winning the Tier 1 Championship. However we are very aware the level of opposition has now increased and we need to match that.”

Beeston 2020 EH Champs

Meanwhile Oxted, who narrowly lost to East Grinstead in the opening weekend, will face Holcombe, who had an equally narrow 3-2 win over Old Georgians.

Head Coach Nick Giles said: “As soon as we finished the game [against East Grinstead] we were all absolutely gutted that it wasn’t the fairytale start to the season that we thought and believed could happen.

“Having gone over the game there are so many positives to take.” he added. “When you look at attacking circle entries we had triple the amount to East Grinstead, but ultimately we weren’t clinical and they were. We paid the price for that but we are in a good head space going into the next match against Holcombe.”

For the match against Holcombe Giles, who has the challenging position of player/coach, says he is not planning on changing too much.

“We are taking one game at a time, we will set up slightly differently to combat how they play but not too much will change. We trust in our principles. We will make sure our tempo is high from the start and that belief levels throughout the squad are high.”


In the other matches taking place at the weekend, the University of Exeter will be looking to continue to put the goals away as they did in their opening fixture against Hampstead and Westminster but sharpen up on their defence as they seek to take points from seasoned campaigners East Grinstead.

Old Georgians travel north to take on the University of Durham, who are opening their league campaign this weekend. In some ways this is a step into the unknown for both sides – the University of Durham will get their first taste of life in the top flight of hockey while, this early in the season, Old Georgians will have little information about the playing style of the student side.

Wimbledon are also heading up the country to take on Brooklands MU. The South West London side will be looking to improve on their performance that saw them held to  3-3 draw by Beeston in the opening weekend. For their part, Brooklands MU will want to forget last week’s 8-1 drubbing at the hands of Surbiton and put together a more flowing, attack-minded form of hockey.

You can follow the action in the Premier Division including live scores at https://englandhockey.altiusrt.com/ or click HERE.

Arrangements for spectators at clubs in all Divisions of the league will vary depending on their individual circumstances. Anyone wishing to attend a game is advised to check with the home team before travelling.


FIXTURES
Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, 26 September 2020):

Conference East
Spencer v London Wayfarers 13:30
Bromley & Beckenham v London Edwardians 14:30
Richmond v Old Loughtonians 16:30
St Albans v Wapping 18:30


Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, 27 September 2020):

Premier Division
University of Exeter v East Grinstead 12:30
Old Georgians v University of Durham 13:00
Brooklands MU v Wimbledon 13:30
Beeston v Surbiton 14:00
Oxted v Holcombe 14:00

Division One North
University of Birmingham v University of Nottingham 12:30
Bowdon v Sheffield Hallam 13:30
Cambridge City v Loughborough Students 13:30
Deeside Ramblers v Cardiff & Met 13:30
City of Peterborough v Olton & West Warwicks 14:00

Division One South
Havant v Southgate 12:30
Reading v Teddington 13:30
Sevenoaks v Canterbury 13:30
Oxford Hawks v Brighton & Hove 14:00
Old Cranleighans v Team Bath Buccaneers 14:30

Conference North
Belper v Timperley 12:00
University of Durham 2s v Barford Tigers 13:00
Doncaster v Preston 14:00
Leeds v Didsbury Northern 14:30
University of Birmingham 2s v Lichfield 14:30

Conference East
Harleston Magpies v West Herts 14:00

Conference West
Cheltenham v Isca 12:30
Cardiff University v Fareham 13:30
Khalsa Leamington v University of Bristol 13:30
Ashmoor v Plymouth Marjon 14:00
Chichester v Harborne 15:00