M1 Aim For Super 6s Glory On Sunday
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men will be aiming to win the Super 6s Championships title for the third time in their history when they take on local rivals Old Georgians in the first semi-final at the Copper Box on Sunday at 1 pm.
Surbiton were champions in 2017 when they beat East Grinstead 12-5 in the last Finals Day to be played at Wembley Arena and in 2020 when Holcombe were beaten 3-2 at the Copper Box.
Surbiton had also reached the final on their first ever appearance at Finals Day back in 2010 when East Grinstead, in their purple patch of title wins, prevailed 9-5 at the Trent FM Arena in Nottingham.
Old Georgians, in contrast have reached Finals Day in their maiden top flight season having only been promoted from Division One last season. Their fortunes together with the other promoted team, Exeter University were at opposite ends of the scale as Old Georgians qualified in first place, whilst Exeter University were relegated.
The first Elmbridge derby in the Premier Division finished in a 4-4 draw as Surbiton ended Old Georgians run of three successive wins over Sevenoaks (9-4), Wimbledon (5-4) and Hampstead & Westminster (10-2).
Old Georgians led 3-0 after 18 minutes, Nick Page netting in the fifth minute, former Surbiton player Alan Forsyth doubling the lead a minute later and Chris Griffiths adding the third in the 18th minute. However, by the half hour mark, Surbiton were on level terms, Jamie Golden completing a hat-trick after earlier scoring in the 19th and 23rd minutes.
Forsyth threatened to sneak a 4-3 win from the penalty spot in the 31st minute but Ben Park salvaged a point with two minutes to play.
The two points dropped were the only blip on a convincing performance which saw Old Georgians beat Holcombe 7-3, Exeter University 10-3, Repton 5-2 and East Grinstead 5-2 over the second weekend to finish a point ahead of reigning champions Wimbledon after eight games.
Forsyth was joined as Old Georgians' top goalscorer on eleven goals by another former Surbiton player, James Tindall with Chris Griffiths not far behind on ten. Altogether, Old Georgians scored 60 goals as they aim to add an indoor title to last season's outdoor league title.
Surbiton qualified in fourth place, four points clear of fifth placed Sevenoaks after losing their opening game, 4-3 against Wimbledon. Surbiton's momentum started with a 7-4 victory over Repton which saw both teams combine for three goals in the 25th minute. The draw against Old Georgians was followed by a 7-5 win over a battling Holcombe team, Surbiton trailing 5-4 with three minutes to play before a brace from Jonny Gall either side of a Rob Farrington finish across the last two minutes saw Surbiton home.
Surbiton's second weekend also started with a defeat, East Grinstead winning 6-2 before an 8-4 win over Hampstead & Westminster and a 5-3 victory over Exeter University clinched Surbiton's place in the Final Four with a game to spare.
Sevenoaks snatched a 5-5 draw in the final game for both teams with a last minute goal.
Golden finished the qualifying campaign with 14 goals, two behind Wimbledon's Ed Horler with Repton's Simon Claris scoring 12 goals in vain as Repton joined Exeter in Division One next season.
More information about the Premier Division qualifiers can be found at the England Hockey Altius website via this link
In the second semi-final, Wimbledon face East Grinstead at 2.15 pm. In the Premier Division, Wimbledon won 6-1 and the match-up is a repeat of the 2022 Final when Wimbledon ran out 11-1 winners after East Grinstead shocked Surbiton in a shootout after a pulsating 5-5 semi-final draw.
The Men's Final is at 4.55 pm.
The Women's tournament, in which Surbiton Ladies narrowly missed qualification by finishing in fifth place sees East Grinstead face Buckingham at 10.30 am and Repton take on Bowdon at 11.45 with the winners meeting in the Women's Final at 3.40 pm.
Supporters who can't get to the Copper Box can follow the tournaments in different ways:
1. The games can be followed in real time via the England Hockey Altius website.
2. The games can be watched by England Hockey TV's live stream for £3.99 covering all six games on the day. More information can be found via englandhockey.live
3. There will also be updates via @surbitonhc on Twitter.