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MHL Premier Division Review – 29 February/ 1 March

Hockey World News English Men’s Premier Review

Old Georgians became the fourth and final team to qualify for the end of season playoffs after two home wins over the weekend: 5-0 against East Grinstead on Saturday and 2-1 versus Beeston on Sunday.

James Tindall opened the scoring against East Grinstead in the eighth minute with Sam Ward continuing his comeback with goals in the 22nd and 60th minutes. Keenan Horne added a fourth goal in the 63rd minute and Tom Watson completed the scoring with five minutes to play as East Grinstead lost 5-0 for the second match running.

On Sunday, Ward was on target yet again scoring the winning goal in the 43rd minute. Tindall again broke the deadlock, this time in the third minute with Beeston’s Richard Lawrence equalising in the 16th minute. With two games to play, Old Georgians are fourth and just two points behind third placed Wimbledon.

Hampstead & Westminster leapfrogged Wimbledon on Saturday, beating the University of Exeter 6-3 at home to move up to second whilst Wimbledon went down 3-2 at Beeston. Hampstead were shocked as Exeter took the lead in the fifth minute through Kiran Patel, but by half time, Hampstead led 5-3 as both defences leaked goals. Sam French notched a hat-trick with goals in the 11th, 34th and 35th minutes, Josh Kelly scoring in the 19th minute and Matt Guise-Brown scoring in the 32nd minute. Rhys Bradshaw pulled a goal back for Exeter in the 30th minute and Charlie Taylor scored for the visitors in the 33rd minute of a first half goal-fest. In a much quieter second half, Will Calnan scored in the 41st minute to clinch the 6-3 win.

Beeston led three times against Wimbledon, Adam Dixon’s 11th minute opener cancelled out by Wimbledon’s Ben Francis in the 32nd minute. Sam Apoola restored Beeston’s lead a minute later, only for Ben Arnold to level in the 48th minute. Apoola put Beeston 3-2 up in the final minute, Wimbledon not left enough time to snatch a third equaliser.

Surbiton gave Brooklands Manchester University a torrid time for the second time this season, winning 7-0 at home to ensure they finish top of the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division table for the second season in succession and book their place in the 2020-21 Euro Hockey League. Luke Taylor overtook Wimbledon’s Ed Horler as the division’s leading goalscorer, taking his tally to 23 goals with four penalty corner conversions in the 18th, 39th, 46th and 67th minutes. Brooklands had held out until the 16th minute when Ben Boon gave Surbiton the lead, with Alan Forsyth securing a brace of goals in the 22nd and 66th minutes as Surbiton followed up their 12-0 win in Cheshire earlier in the season.

Reading’s hopes of avoiding automatic relegation to Division One suffered another blow when they lost 6-2 at Holcombe. Hayden Phillips put Holcombe 1-0 up in the 11th minute, Andrew Oxburgh equalising three minutes later. Harry Trusler scored in the 30th minute to give Holcombe a 2-1 half time lead, with Phillips adding a third goal three minutes after the interval. Louis Gittens scored a second goal for Reading in the 43rd minute before Holcombe pulled away, Mark Gleghorne scoring in the 45th and 60th minutes and Louis Duprez netting in the 55th minute.

📸 – SmifSports

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