M1 Back On Top Of Super Sixes Premier Division Table
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men went back to the top of the Super Sixes Premier Division table after winning both games on the third day of competition at Whitgift School in Croydon.
Surbiton had won three and lost one match at Repton the week before and it was Repton who provided the opposition for Surbiton's first match of the second weekend.
Having generally been in free scoring mood over the first weekend, Surbiton had to battle to come away with all three points in a 3-2 victory.
After 15 minutes, Surbiton seemed to be cruising to another comfortable victory, Sam Spencer having scored twice to give them a 2-0 lead.
However, Surbiton were caught out immediately after half time when Simon Claris converted a penalty corner to put Repton back in the game, with Jamie Golden restoring Surbiton's two goal advantage at the end of the third quarter.
Repton struck quickly for a second time at the start of the fourth quarter, Harry Stone making the score 3-2, but Repton couldn't find an equaliser.
Hampstead & Westminster, the leaders at the halfway point, started well with a 7-2 win over East Grinstead, but slipped up by losing 4-3 to Holcombe to give Surbiton the opportunity to go top of the table on goal difference with a win over Brooklands Manchester University.
Surbiton responded to the challenge in fine style, with a dominant 14-4 win over Brooklands, Jamie Golden scoring eight of Surbiton's goals.
Rob Farrington and Golden gave Surbiton a 2-0 lead after just seven minutes, but David Flanagan halved the lead in the ninth minute. Arjan Drayton-Chana quickly replied for Surbiton a minute later, only for Felix Tulley to once again respond for Brooklands in the 14th minute.
Brooklands were blown away with four goals in five minutes as Surbiton led 7-2 at half time. Golden scored three of the four to take his match tally to four goals by the interval with Luke Taylor also converting a penalty corner.
The scoreline was repeated in the second half, Golden and Spencer taking the score to 9-2 before Luis Cuttle replied twice for Brooklands towards the end of the third quarter, as Brooklands trailed 10-4 going into the final ten minutes, Golden notching his sixth goal of the game at the end of the quarter.
Brooklands were blitzed in the 33rd and 34th minutes as they conceded three goals, Golden taking his count to eight, with Drayton-Chana having what turned out to be the last word with four minutes remaining.
Surbiton, Hampstead & Westminster, Wimbledon and Sevenoaks are in pole position to qualify for Finals Day, but Holcombe and East Grinstead are fifth and sixth, four points behind Wimbledon and Sevenoaks if there are any slip ups.
Surbiton and Hampstead both have fifteen points with Wimbledon and Sevenoaks on thirteen. Surbiton need just one point to qualify and start Sunday with an intriguing clash against fourth placed Sevenoaks before an even more interesting match-up with Hampstead & Westminster in the final match of the qualifying tournament.
With two matches to play, Reading and Brooklands Manchester University are all but relegated, six points in arrears of Repton with heavy negative goal differences. A single point for Repton on Sunday will see Reading and Brooklands relegated, although at least one team will be relegated as Reading meet Brooklands in their last match.
Old Georgians and the University of Exeter will be promoted to the Premier Division from Division One for next season.
More information about the Men's Premier Division including match sheets and competition statistics can be found at the England Hockey Altius website here