Slazenger EHL Play-offs

This weekend sees the Slazenger EHL Promotion tournament.

For an update on the action on Days One & Two click here 

This brings together the three Conference winners plus the side finishing second bottom in the Premier Division with the teams looking for a top two finish that will bring a Premier Division place in 2009-10. The tournament is being played at the University of West of England ground in Frenchay, Bristol.

Brooklands MU who won the Men’s North Conference are the only one of the Conference winners to have tasted Premier Division action before, with one season of top flight action in 1998-99. They also faced the hardest title challenge. Despite an unbeaten campaign they only secured top spot in the last game of the season with a 3-3 draw against nearest rivals Belper and this thanks to two goals in the last ten minutes to give them the title by a point. Exeter University took the West title by a commanding ten points and this was sealed by a crucial 3-1 defeat of second placed Guildford on the penultimate round of matches. In the East Oxted took control of the league after the January re-start and held off the challenge of Canterbury to win the title by two points after a 2-1 win at Sevenoaks in the last game of the season.  Havant who finished ninth in the Men’s Premier Division went into the Christmas break at the foot of the table but overtook Southgate in the second half of the campaign but could not avoid the safety of eighth place, finishing two points behind Bowdon

Women’s North Conference winners Durham University trailed counterparts Loughborough for much of the campaign before a 1-0 win against them at the beginning of March took them to within a point of the top. Then they overhauled them on the penultimate weekend when Loughborough were held 3-3 by Belper, thanks to a 4-2 win at Bradford and ended up top and winners by a point. Reading took the Women’s East title with a sixteen point advantage over second placed Old Loughtonians and were unbeaten until the last game of the season. In the West Conference the University of Birmingham were the league’s leading scorers with 107 goals, an average of almost six goals per game with just nine conceded. Womens Premier Division qualifiers Ipswich are looking to hold on to their proud record of top flight hockey since the second season of the National League in 1990.  After a difficult season all looked set for a crucial battle of the A12 with fellow strugglers Chelmsford on the last Saturday of the campaign however a 2-0 defeat of Poynton the week before secured their place here and condemned Chelmsford to relegation  

Also this Saturday sees the culmination of the Relegation Tournaments with teams battling for the top place in the tournament which will give EHL status in 2009-10. In the Mens competition to overcome Firebrands, Formby who play host to City of Peterborough require a win better than the West country sides 4-3 defeat of Peterborough last Saturday. With Firebrands and Formby drawing 2-2 in their game two weeks ago City of Peterborough now cannot qualify. In the Womens tournament Whitley Bay travel to Sevenoaks after a 3-1 defeat of Rover Oxford last weekend. Rover lost 2-0 at home to Sevenoaks the week before so they are out the running and a draw would be enough for Whitley Bay to clinch top spot.

Results will available via the website and also via your phone at www.englandhockey.co.uk/mobile