M1 At Home To Holcombe On Sunday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men are at home to Holcombe on Sunday afternoon (push back 2.30) as they aim to battle for second place in the Men's Hockey League Premier Division and European qualification.
Near neighbours Old Georgians clinched the title with a comprehensive 5-0 win at East Grinstead on Saturday night, leaving the second European place up for grabs.
With three games to play, second-placed Wimbledon have a five point advantage over Surbiton, but with Wimbledon due to visit Sugden Road next Saturday night, Surbiton will want to beat Holcombe to keep up their hopes of snatching the runners-up spot.
When Holcombe last visited Surbiton on the opening day of the season, Surbiton had to come from 4-2 down with four goals in the final twenty minutes to win 6-4.
Holcombe won 3-0 in the return fixture in early March before subsequently losing 8-2 at Old Georgians and 5-1 at Wimbledon and regaining their form last weekend with a 4-3 home win over Hampstead & Westminster.
Both teams will be missing key players with the England men's squad out in India for two FIH Pro League matches this weekend, with Holcombe having to cope without leading goalscorer, Nick Bandurak, who has scored 15 goals this season and also scored twice in the first match v India, which was drawn 3-3 before India won the shootout to clinch the bonus point.
They are also without goalkeeper Ollie Payne, whilst Surbiton had James Gall, David Goodfield, Nick Park and Tom Sorsby selected.
Surbiton delayed Old Georgians claim to the title, coming back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at St. George's College last Saturday night.
Wimbledon are at home to Hampstead & Westminster on Sunday afternoon and in the Bottom 5, Beeston host Oxted in a noon showdown as seventh and eighth meet, while Durham University visit Brooklands Manchester University for the first time after beating Brooklands 2-1 at home on the opening day of the season to record their first ever top flight victory and then in Phase 2, losing 4-1 to Brooklands, also at home.