M1 Host East Grinstead On Sunday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men host East Grinstead in the Men's Hockey League Premier Division Top Six on Sunday (2.30 pm).
East Grinstead are visiting Sugden Road for the first time this season after playing Surbiton at home twice already this season.
In October, Surbiton won 6-1 in Phase One and then in the Phase Two Top Six in February, Surbiton had a closer encounter, winning 2-1.
Surbiton have not played East Grinstead at home since October 2020 when they won 7-2, the latest in six successive wins going back to September 2015 when they won 7-0. East Grinstead last won at Surbiton in March 2014 when they won 6-5 in an eleven goal thriller on the last day of the season.
This season, East Grinstead qualified for the Top Six after a late run saw them snatch the final qualifying place. The West Sussex club are destined to finish sixth as they are fifteen points adrift of fifth place with just five matches remaining, but will be happy to have qualified for the upper Premier Division tier after the mid-season split.
In Phase One, East Grinstead made a bad start, drawing one and losing six of their first seven matches before a 3-2 win over the University of Exeter; a 4-1 victory at Durham University and a 3-2 home win over Beeston was enough to see them qualify for the Top Six.
In 2022, after giving Surbiton a tough time in their opening Phase 2 fixture, they have only gained a point in a 3-3 draw at home to Holcombe, losing 2-1 at Wimbledon, 3-0 at Old Georgians and 4-1 at home to Hampstead & Westminster last weekend.
Jamie Wallace, who scored both East Grinstead goals against Surbiton in West Sussex this season is their top scorer with eleven goals. Louis Gittens is second on eight with Ben Mackey on three. The other four goals have been shared between Luke Emmett, Luke Holland, Finlay Boothroyd and Daniel Faulkner.
Elsewhere on Sunday, leaders Old Georgians go to Hampstead & Westminster and Wimbledon host Holcombe with both matches also starting at 2.30 pm.
In the Bottom 5, the University of Exeter will hope to stave off relegation with a home victory over Durham University, having won 9-0 away but drawn 3-3 previously this season and Beeston, in eighth, are at home to Brooklands Manchester University with whom they have drawn twice this season, 2-2 and 3-3.