The England Hockey League 2023/24 continued with thrilling action in Division 1 and Conferences across the country. Here's the full round up of both Men's and Women's Leagues from the eigth weekend:
Surbiton 2s march on in Division One South, maintaining the only 100% record in the league, thanks to a 2-1 win at Harleston Magpies. Magpies Felicity Williams had cancelled out Charlotte Calnan’s opener but Hanah Denison kept Surbiton’s run going with the winner six minutes from time. Barnes and Holcombe, who trailed Surbiton by three points going into the weekend met with Barnes running out convincing 5-2 winners, Aleesa Ferguson netting a hat-trick. Two Briony Anyon goals helped Slough to a 2-1 win at Canterbury and move them up to fourth. At the other end of the table there were important wins for Southgate and Wimbledon 2s. Southgate beat fellow strugglers Team Bath Buccaneers 2-1 to move off the foot of the table whilst Wimbledon’s 1-0 defeat of Sevenoaks took them ninth to seventh.
Division One North leaders Buckingham were made to work hard for a 2-1 win at lowly Olton. Lauren Thomas put the leaders in front just before half time and although Alexandra Ogilby equalized early in the second half, Jessica Cremin struck a winner for Buckingham who remain three points clear at the top. Sutton Coldfield are clear in second after Emma McCabe scored the only goal of the game at Swansea. Durham University slipped back after being held 1-1 by visiting Stourport. Two Riley Taylor goals helped Ben Rhydding to a 3-0 win over Leicester and a late Tayla Britton winner meant Wakefield returned from Gloucester City with all three points after a 3-2 win.
Front runners Guildford returned to winning ways in Conference East in emphatic style after last Saturday’s reverse. They won 7-1 at bottom of the table Ipswich with two goals each from Tierney Kerr and one for Lucy Wood and Megan Philips, Alice O’Hagan and Gemma Footit. London Wayfarers remain four points behind the leaders having defeated Old Georgians 2-0. Hampstead & Westminster 2s enjoyed a 5-2 win at Spencer and Teddington also went nap winning 5-3 at East London. A Chantelle Fernandes goal a minute from time saw Old Loughtonians edge past Horsham 2-1.
Unbeaten Repton saw their lead at the top of Conference Midlands extend to three points. Poppy Barlow, Rosie Bowman, Kat Melson and Maisey Gaunt were on target in a 4-1 win against bottom of the table Oxford University. Cambridge City who trailed Repton by a point going into Saturday’s game lost 3-2 at Beeston 2s for whom Hannah Farr scored twice. St Albans jump above them into second thanks to a 3-0 win at Bedford. Two goals from Sophie Saunders helped Birmingham University 2s to a 3-2 win at Doncaster and Jodie Beddow also netted twice, Cannock’s 3-1 win at Belper.
Pendle Forest are now four points at the top of Conference North. Freya Bythell, Hannah Metcalf, Hayley Baines and Lisa-Emma Crewe scored for them in a 4-2 win over Bowdon 2s for whom Priya Kerfoot scored both their goals. Newcastle University remain unbeaten but lost ground at the top after another draw, 1-1 with Brooklands Poynton. This allowed Leeds to go second thanks to a 6-1 win over Didsbury Northern. Harrogate moved off the bottom of the table with their first win of the season, 3-2 against Durham University 2s and Fylde won 1-0 at Timperley.
Trojans stay top of Conference West but suffered a 3-1 defeat at Clifton Robinsons 2s. Although Poppy Egerton gave Trojans an early lead Jasmine Porter, Holly Savage and Tilly Edwards turned the game around. Witney are now just a point off the leaders after a 4-3 defeat of Reading 2s. Bristol Firebrands trail Witney on goal difference although this was boosted by a 5-2 win at Exeter with two goals for Megan Duncan. An Alexis Hornsby goal was enough for Basingstoke to defeat Oxford Hawks and improve hopes of avoiding the drop. Bottom of the table Fareham also picked up a point in a 1-1 draw at Cheltenham.
Bowdon maintained top spot in Division One North but were made to work hard for the points by Olton. Two Simon Egerton goals with Fergus Roll replying gave Bowdon a 2-1 half time lead which Tom Ainsworth extended before Ben Hurst pulled a goal back but Bowdon held on for the remaining 11 minutes. Thery now lead Brooklands MU by a narrow +1 goal difference after they won 4-0 at Cambridge City to set up an intriguing derby next weekend, the teams eight points clear of the pack. Loughborough Studnets remain third after a 3-0 win at Deeside Ramblers and Drham Uniersity fourth, going above Harborne who they beat 2-1. At the other end of the table Birmingham University won 7-2 at Leeds to move three points clear of the Yorkshire team in ninth.
Richmond, who took over top spot in Division One South last weekend kept a hold of it thanks to a 2-1 win at Old Loughtonians. They were indebted to two Scott Wall corners for the win, his second with just four minutes left after Mark Loughrey had levelled things up three minutes earlier. Canterbury, who Richmond deposed, got back on track with a 2-1 defeat of Old Cranleighan and trail by two points. Exeter University are a point further back having come from 2-1 behind at the break to bat Team Bath Buccaneers 3-2. Havant put daylight between themselves and the relegation places with a 2-1 win at Sevenoaks. Teddington’s 3-1 defeat of bottom of the table Brighton & Hove was the only game settled by more than a goal in the Division.
Conference East leaders Spencer stayed top after beating Hampstead & Westminster 2s 2-1. Josh Griffin cancelled out Will Marshall’s opener for Spencer before a Kyle Good 66th minute winner. Indian Gymkhana kept up the pressure with a 4-0 win at London Wayfarers to remain unbeaten and a point back. Guildford’s 7-1 win against Ipswich saw seven different scorers and Surbiton 2s eased past Bromley & Beckenham 2-0. Wimbledon 2s moved out of the bottom two with a 2-0 defeat of Old Georgians 2s who remain bottom. Nottingham University 2s are five points clear in Conference Midlands but almost lost a five goal lead against second bottom Bedford. Losing 5-0 with 20 minutes to go Bedford fought back to within a goal of the visitors who held on for a 5-4 win. Second placed Stourport won 1-0 at bottom of the table City of Peterborough. Two Myles King goals helped Harleston Magpies defeat Barford Tigers 3-1 whilst Cameron Cooke hit a hat trick in Norwich City’s 3-2 win over Birmingham University 2s. Banbury and St Albans drew 1-1.
Leaders Lindum’s fine start to EHL life in Conference North continued with a 7-2 win at home to Brooklands MU 2s. Sam Dixon hit a hat trick and Matt Parker a double which keeps them a point clear of Doncaster. Doncaster were grateful to Matt Gibson for a 69th minute corner, his second of the game, to take the honours 3-2 in the Yorkshire derby at Ben Rhydding. Timperley beat Wakefield 4-0 and Beeston 2s saw off Sheffield with a 3-1 victory. Oxton won the battle of the bottom two in emphatic style beating Belper 11-0 including a hat trick for Alistair Mackenzie.
University of Bristol now only lead Conference West on goal difference after falling to a Will Routledge strike at Exeter University 2s. This allowed Oxford Hawks, 3-1 winners at Fareham to go levled on points within. They trailed to a Rhys Brnych goal at the interval but two Simon Hill goals and one for Austin Greenlee earned the points. Ashmoor and Cheltenham drew 1-1 and Clifton Robinsons overcame Chichester 3-2. There was welcome first win of the season Plymouth Marjon beating third place Isca 4-1 with Ben Hedley netting a hat trick.