5 Star Taylor Helps M1 Thrash Brooklands 8-1
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men started the defence of their Men's Hockey League title in fine style, romping to an 8-1 home win over Brooklands Manchester University on Sunday.
Penalty Corner specialist, Luke Taylor gave a superb demonstration, scoring five goals to help Surbiton continue their form against the Manchester club.
Surbiton gave debuts to Jamie Golden and Tim Nurse and welcomed back Brendan Creed from a long term injury break.
On the opening day of last season, Surbiton won 10-1 at Reading, where Taylor helped himself to a hat-trick with Ben Boon also scored a treble and Rob Farrington notching a brace alongside single goals from Arjan Drayton Chana and Alan Forsyth.
ironically, the same players scored again with the exception of Forsyth, who had scored in the last six home encounters with Brooklands.
Boon scored the first goal of the 2019-20 campaign and repeated the trick in 2020-21, this time finishing from close range after just 30 seconds.
Brooklands quickly responded as Stefan Ray-Hills launched an aerial ball just beyond Aidan Khares, only to go 2-0 down in the sixth minute, Drayton Chana's angled shot beating Robert Turner.
Two minutes later, Taylor opened his account for the season, finding the backboard from Surbiton's first penalty corner to leave Brooklands trailing 3-0 and perhaps heading for a repeat of the 12-0 defeat suffered on home turf last season.
Taylor struck again in the 17th minute from Surbiton's third penalty corner, but Brooklands pulled a goal back in the 20th minute, Peter Flanagan scoring from the visitors' first corner of the match.
Brooklands have an excellent record of scoring in matches and Surbiton were the only team to stop them scoring in 2019-20.
4-1 was the half time score, but Taylor completed his hat-trick in the 39th minute from Surbiton's sixth penalty corner as Brooklands' penalty corner defence had no answer.
Goal number six came in the 48th minute as Taylor continued to bamboozle the Brooklands defence, but Brooklands held out until the 67th minute until Taylor scored his fifth goal of the game, the ball this time ending up in the goal netting.
Rob Farrington completed the goalscoring in the 69th minute with an angled shot from the left of the circle.
In spite of the heavy scoreline, Brooklands had Turner to thank for making several saves and had chances from penalty corners of their own, Harry Gibson making a double save from Peter Flanagan and Ray-Hills from their second penalty corner and David Flanagan firing wide from Brooklands' third.
Hampstead & Westminster won 5-3 at the University of Exeter; Holcombe beat Old Georgians 3-2 with a last gasp goal; East Grinstead beat newly promoted Oxted 2-1 at home and Wimbledon drew 3-3 with Beeston.
The University of Durham had a bye week.