M1 Visit Old Georgians On Sunday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men travel to Old Georgians on Sunday with first place in the Men's Hockey League Premier Division at stake.
The match at St. George's College, Addlestone (push back 2 pm) will decide which team ends Phase 1 on top of the Premier Division table.
Wimbledon, who completed their fixtures with a 2-2 draw at Sugden Road against Surbiton, can't finish top of the table because Old Georgians and Surbiton are playing each other on the final day of Phase 1.
Wimbledon lead Old Georgians by a point, but if Old Georgians draw with Surbiton, they will go above Wimbledon on goal difference as they currently have a plus 39 GD compared with Wimbledon's plus 27.
If Old Georgians beat Surbiton, they will go two points above Wimbledon. And if Surbiton beat Old Georgians, they will also go above Wimbledon on goal difference as they currently have a plus 31 GD.
If Surbiton lose to Old Georgians, they could even drop to fourth if Hampstead & Westminster win at Oxted.
Old Georgians go into the Surrey local derby on the back of a 10-0 away win at Brooklands Manchester University last Sunday, which gave them a through goal difference advantage.
Old Georgians have won eight of their nine league games this season, only dropping points at Wimbledon, where they failed to score in a Premier Division match for the first time, going down 2-0.
They started the season in prolific goal scoring form, Beeston beaten 4-0 at home, the University of Exeter defeated 5-1 in Devon and East Grinstead thrashed 7-0 in Surrey.
They found their trip to Holcombe a tougher challenge before coming out on top with a 2-1 win, but were back to their goalscoring best when the University of Durham came down South and lost 6-0.
They took their revenge for the Wimbledon defeat out on Hampstead & Westminster who were given a 5-0 hammering on their own pitch, before Oxted were beaten 5-1 and the win at Brooklands.
Sam Ward, currently out of action, is still Old Georgians' top scorer with eleven goals, but Tom Carson with seven and former Surbiton player, James Tindall with six have given excellent support.
Edward Carson has scored five, James Carson three with Elliot Messem, Nick Page and Ashley Jackson all contributing two goals each.
And to show the immense scope that Old Georgians have in goalscoring potential, James Albery, Tom Doran, Lee Morton, Chris Proctor, Dan Shingles and Liam Sanford have all scored once each.
The teams didn't meet during the shortened 2020-21 season, but had two memorable encounters in 2019-20, Old Georgians' first ever season in the top flight.
Under the St. George's College floodlights, Surbiton came out on top in a seven goal thriller in November 2019, Two goals from Lee Marson and one from Tom Carson, not quite enough as a brace from Alan Forsyth, a goal from Luke Taylor and a winner from Tom Sorsby earned a 4-3 away win.
Old Georgians fared better at Sugden Road in the return in February 2020, Morton, Matt Richards and Ward helping them to a 3-3 draw, Surbiton's goals coming from Ben Boon, Forsyth and James Royce.
On the last day of Phase One, all the games have to start at 2 pm. Holcombe, who have already booked their place in the top six travel to Brooklands Manchester University; Oxted, clinging on to the sixth and final place, host Hampstead & Westminster and will be looking over their shoulders as East Grinstead, having beaten the University of Exeter and the University of Durham in recent weeks, could snatch the final top six place if they beat Beeston and Oxted lose. Beeston are in the same situation, and could also reach the top six with a win and an Oxted loss.
The University of Exeter, still looking for their first points of the season, host the University of Durham, who can't qualify for the top six, but have hopes of avoiding relegation after getting their first two Premier Division wins.