M1 Confirm Second Place Finish After Phase Two
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Men beat Hampstead & Westminster 2-0 at Sugden Road on Sunday to ensure that they will finish in second place behind Old Georgians after Phase Two of the Men's Hockey League Premier Division.
Old Georgians had guaranteed that they would earn a European place on Saturday by finishing Phase Two in top spot and Surbiton's 2-0 victory maintained a seven point lead over third-placed Wimbledon, who have two games remaining.
Holcombe will be eagerly watching the result of the rearranged match between Wimbledon and Hampstead next Saturday as they dropped to fourth following their 3-0 home defeat by Old Georgians and Wimbledon's 4-0 home win over Reading.
The temperature dropped at Sugden Road as the Surbiton v Hampstead & Westminster match progressed with the floodlights taking effect as the sun set.
Hampstead were aiming for only their second-ever league win at Surbiton, but fell behind in the 12th minute as Luke Taylor converted Surbiton's first penalty corner of the match.
Although Tom Sorsby ran at the Hampstead defence and Louis Gittens just failed to convert Mattie Hughson's cross from the right, Surbiton had to settle for a second goal in the 21st minute, Arjan Drayton Chana's pass turned in by James Gall to double their advantage.
Both teams largely cancelled each other out, although Toby Reynolds-Cotterill in the Hampstead goal saved another Taylor penalty corner and James Mazarelo saved two Hampstead penalty corners during the match, but the second game of the double header weekend seemed to be a game too far as defences were on top.
Mazarelo claimed a clean sheet as Surbiton will go to Reading on Sunday to complete their Phase Two campaign.
Sam Ward, Chris Proctor and Henry Weir helped Old Georgians to a 3-0 victory at Holcombe and Wimbledon bounced back from their 2-1 defeat at Surbiton on Saturday evening, Ed Horler, Jack Waller, Ben Francis and Jonny Sturch-Hibbitt all contributing to their 4-0 win over Reading.
In the Lower Six, Beeston maintained their one point lead over Oxted as they won their home local derby against the University of Nottingham 2-1 at Nottingham Hockey Centre. Jamie Golden and Sam Apoola scored for Beeston with Charlie Axford responding for Nottingham.
Oxted battled to a 3-2 home victory over the University of Exeter, Brad Sherwood, Matthew Crookshanks and Matthew Barnett scoring for Oxted, Jacob Payton scoring both Exeter goals.
East Grinstead kept their hopes of a top two finish alive with a 4-2 home win over Brooklands Manchester University. Two goals from Simon Faulkner and goals from Nick Catlin and Tom Crowson kept the West Sussex club to within two points of second-placed Oxted, Harry Tomkins and Finn Ward scoring for Brooklands who seem destined for relegation.