M1 Visit Old Georgians For Top Of The Table Clash
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men make the short journey to St. George's College for a key Men's Hockey League Premier Division top of the table clash with Old Georgians on Saturday night (push back 6 pm).
Old Georgians were relegated from the Men's Hockey League in 2009-10, but they had to wait until the 2015-16 season to win promotion back from the South Premier Division 1.
They came close to winning promotion the season before but were pipped by a single point by Sevenoaks, who have also graced the top flight of the MHL.
Once back in the national league, Old Georgians were placed in the Conference West in 2016-17, but transferred to the Conference East in 2017-18 when they finished ninth, but managed to preserve their national league status by finishing above Cheltenham and Deeside Ramblers in the three team relegation playoffs.
With some key signings, including Dan Fox and Sam Ward, Old Georgians stormed to take the Conference East title in 2018-19 by nine points from runners-up Oxted and then won all three games in the Promotion Tournament to earn their place in the Premier Division for the first time in their history.
Old Georgians were matched up with the University of Exeter, who kept their place in the Premier Division by finishing second behind Old Georgians in the Promotion Tournament for their opening league fixture.
Old Georgians won 5-1 at St. George's College and followed up with a stunning 4-3 win at reigning champions, Hampstead & Westminster.
A 3-3 draw at home to Wimbledon was followed by an emphatic 5-0 win at East Grinstead and a 2-1 win at Beeston.
Another 3-3 draw at home to Holcombe saw Old Georgians lose their place at the top of the table and they go into Saturday night's clash still in second place in spite of winning 3-1 at Brooklands Manchester University a fortnight ago.
Surbiton lead by a point with a game in hand due to their Euro Hockey League exploits.
There will also be mixed emotions for James Tindall, a Surbiton legend who joined Surbiton from Old Georgians and then returned and has been a key figure in Old Georgians' rise.
Tindall has scored six goals this campaign, one behind Sam Ward, sadly injured during last weekend's Olympic Qualifiers against Malaysia which saw Great Britain qualify for Tokyo 2020 after winning 4-1 and 5-2 for a 9-3 aggregate triumph.
Tom Carson has also scored six goals with Tom Watson and Andy Bull contributing twice each and James Albery and Edward Carson scoring once.
Reading also host East Grinstead on Saturday night, with Holcombe at home to Beeston on Sunday afternoon along with Hampstead & Westminster making the long journey to the University of Exeter and Brooklands Manchester University also on their travels to Wimbledon.