M1 Resume Their Super 6s Campaign This Weekend
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men resume their Super 6s Championships Premier Division campaign this weekend at Whitgift School in South Croydon as they aim to qualify for Finals Day at the Copper Box Arena on 29 January.
Surbiton ended the first weekend in fourth place after losing 4-3 to Wimbledon; beating Repton 7-4; drawing 4-4 at Old Georgians and coming from behind to snatch a late 7-5 win over Holcombe.
East Grinstead won all four games to go into the second weekend on top of the table with Old Georgians two points behind in second having only dropped points to Surbiton. Wimbledon are third on nine points with Surbiton on seven. Repton are fifth, a point behind Surbiton as Sevenoaks, Holcombe and Hampstead & Westminster all ended the first half on three points with the University of Exeter still looking for their first points.
For the second weekend running, Surbiton have a tough start, facing leaders East Grinstead in their first game at 1.30 pm on Saturday. East Grinstead knocked Surbiton out at the semi-final stage last season, 2-1 on a shootout after a thrilling 5-5 draw. The teams have met several times with East Grinstead also prevailing on a shootout in the 2019 Final, 3-1 after a 3-3 draw in normal time. Surbiton won 12-5 in the 2017 Final at Wembley and the teams also met in the 2010 Final in Nottingham where East Grinstead won 9-5.
East Grinstead beat Hampstead & Westminster 11-2; Exeter University 7-0; Holcombe 9-5 and Sevenoaks 3-2. Ben Mackey scored six goals, Simon Faulkner five with Tom Crowson and Kyle White both scoring four goals as the West Sussex club netted 30 goals in their first four games.
Jamie Golden scored seven goals for Surbiton with Jonny Gall on target four times and Ben Park three as Surbiton scored 21 goals last weekend.
Surbiton then end Saturday's programme with a match at 6.30 pm against Hampstead & Westminster who have had a disappointing opening to their indoor season due to a clash with the outdoor Men's World Cup. Lying in eighth on goal difference and facing the reality of a relegation battle, after their 11-2 loss to East Grinstead, Hampstead lost 8-2 to Sevenoaks and 10-2 to Old Georgians before beating Exeter University 7-4 in their last game on Sunday.
James Sutcliffe has contributed six of Hampstead's 13 goals with Joe Hillyer, James Oates and Harry Benjamin all scoring twice.
Surbiton have won two of the three previous Premier Division meetings, losing 6-2 in 2018-19. A narrow 5-4 victory in 2019-20 was followed by an equally narrow 7-6 win for Surbiton in 2021-22 after the sequence was interrupted by Covid-19 in 2020-21.
On Sunday at 12 noon, Surbiton face newly promoted Exeter University who have struggled after being promoted alongside Old Georgians from Division One last season.
Exeter lost 4-3 to Holcombe; 7-0 to East Grinstead; 4-3 to Repton and 7-4 to Hampstead & Westminster in Week 1. It will be the teams' first meeting and Exeter's last game of the weekend after an early 9 am start against Sevenoaks.
Jake Payton has scored exactly half of Exeter's ten goals with Lewis Wilcher scoring three goals.
Surbiton conclude their Premier Division campaign with a meeting against Sevenoaks at 3 pm on Sunday. Sevenoaks beat Hampstead 8-2 but lost 9-4 to Old Georgians; 4-2 to Wimbledon and 3-2 to East Grinstead.
Ben Allberry scored five goals and David Smith four of Sevenoaks' 16 goals last weekend.
Historically, Surbiton have won the last three meetings, 4-3 in 2022; 7-3 in 2020 and 7-4 in the 2018-19 semi-final after Sevenoaks won 5-4 in the same season round-robin competition.
Surbiton won 8-1 in the 2016-17 semi-final and it was Surbiton who won 5-4 in the earlier meeting. Sevenoaks beat Surbiton 6-4 in 2014-15 but at that time the tournament was the Hockey 5s.
The games can be followed in real time by visiting the England Hockey Altius website via this link
There will also be goal updates via the SurbitonHC Twitter account.