M1 Travel To Durham Today
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men make the long trip to the University of Durham today (4 October) as Durham hosts its first ever Premier Division game (push back 2 pm).
Durham had to wait until week 2 to play its first ever top flight match and although it wasn't the best of starts (Old Georgians won 8-0), Durham can only learn from the experience.
Playing Old Georgians away and Surbiton at home is probably one of the toughest starts handed to a newly promoted team.
Durham joined the national league in 2008-09 after winning the North League and in their third season in the Conference North were champions. They just missed out on promotion to the Premier Division finishing third of three teams on six points on goal difference with only the top two promoted.
Durham then had to wait until 2016-17 for their second chance of promotion, but after storming to the Conference North title by winning all eighteen games, they failed to perform in the Promotion Tournament, finishing fourth with a single point.
Following the restructuring of the national league with the formation of Division One North and South above the Conferences, Durham were leading the Division One table when the season was halted prematurely due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Durham and Oxted were both awarded promotion to an extended eleven team Premier Division with the University of Exeter saved from defending their top flight status.
Surbiton will be a daunting task for the newcomers to take on after the defending champions beat Brooklands Manchester University 8-1 at home in their opening game and won 5-2 at Beeston last Sunday.
Surbiton go to Durham in second place in the table after Wimbledon won 2-1 at Holcombe last night to go top, one point ahead of Surbiton, East Grinstead and Holcombe.
East Grinstead are at home to Brooklands Manchester University; Hampstead & Westminster host Old Georgians at Sonning Lane, Reading with Paddington Recreation Ground unavailable.
Oxted are at home to the University of Exeter in a key clash at the bottom of the table after both teams lost their first two matches.