8 February 2016
Men’s Hockey League Premier Division
THE NEXT EDITION OF HOCKEY TALK WILL BE UPLOADED DURING THE AFTERNOON OF MONDAY 15 FEBRUARY
PREMIER DIVISION MOVES
Investec Women’s League Premier Division:
Tabitha Worsley – University of Birmingham to East Grinstead
Susannah Barnes – University of Birmingham to Sutton Coldfield
Isabelle Petter – Surbiton (New registration)
Megan Myers – University of Birmingham to Sutton Coldfield
Men’s Hockey League:
Adam Cook – Holcombe (Re-registration)
Michael Newman – Hampstead & Westminster (New registration)
Jonny Wilkinson – Oxted to Beeston.
LEAGUES’ TOP SCORERS
All the top scorers were on-song over the weekend, with Charlie Ellison adding another penalty corner to his tally, and Euan Gilmour slipping in a last second goal despite losing to Brighton & Hove. The Men’s Conferences have played one more game than the Premier Division but Alan Forsyth made up for this by scoring twice on Saturday. Which left us with a problem. Forsyth and Gilmour have both scored 17 goals. Making an executive decision we decided to count penalty corners more than penalty strokes, and on that basis Alan Forsyth moves into second place.
1. Charlie Ellison (Con. East, Richmond) 20 penalty corners, 1 penalty stroke.
2. Alan Forsyth (Premier Division, Surbiton) 15 field goals, 1 Penalty Corner, 1 Penalty stroke.
3. Euan Gilmour (Con. East, Cambridge City) 15 field goals, 2 penalty strokes.
Despite not scoring over the weekend, Amy Sheehan stays one goal ahead of her nearest rival. Second place has changed, with Sutton Coldfield’s Vicky Woolford adding one to her total, and Sophie Robinson not scoring.
1. Amy Sheehan (Con. East, Slough) 14 field goals, 1 penalty stroke.
2. Vicky Woolford (Con. West, Sutton Coldfield) 5 field goals, 89penalty corners.
3. Sophie Robinson (Con. North, Beeston) 11 field goals, 2 penalty strokes.
NB: Where there is an equality of goals we use the standard convention of giving less value to penalty corners and strokes than field goals.
THE NAUGHTY BOYS’ (AND GIRLS) BRIGADE
Rather like Olympic gold medals, a red card counts above all else. On that basis Conference East Oxted still lead the table, with one red card and 13 yellows. Teddington remain in second place with 17 yellows. Canterbury are still in third with 15. Readers may be interested to note that if you are looking out for yellow cards, the Premier Division is not the place to visit. They have seen 66 cards dished out, as opposed to the 104 in the Conference East.
Top place in the women’s hall of infamy goes to University of Durham with nine yellows this season. Unfortunately it is a three-way tie for second place, with Conference North clubs being two of them. They are Brooklands Poynton and Whitley Bay & Tynemouth. The other side with seven yellows is Conference West Olton & West Warwicks.
Surprisingly, there are two clubs who are still cardless after 12 matches and deserve our congratulations. They are Premier Division East Grinstead and Conference West Slough. Well done to both of them.
Men’s Knock-out Cups
Men’s Conferences Highlights
Investec Women’s League Conference Round-up
England Hockey League
FEISTY BROOKLANDS KNOCK SURBITON FROM TOP SPOT
It is only a few weeks ago that Brooklands MU coach Mark Bateman was amused by reports that his side were being seen as possible contenders for the Champion play-offs. But nobody is laughing now, least of all Bateman.
His side arrived at Sugden Road on Saturday to play Surbiton with a steely determination to cause an upset. You could sense it before the match even started. And there would be few better opportunities. Surbiton were only separated from the pole position in the table on goal difference, but they were fielding an understrength side which included a number of talented but inexperienced youngsters. Brooklands themselves were growing in confidence, which had seen them take 14 points from their last seven games.
The opening encounters of the game saw Ross Hall score for Brooklands after only five minutes. No surprise there – we’d be very rich if we had a pound for every time we had seen the losing side score first. Our first instincts seem to have some basis when David Becket equalised less than a minute later.
What had not escaped our notice in the first few minutes was the fact that Brooklands seemed to be enjoying more than their fair share of the possession. Add to that an enthusiasm to fight for every ball, and it should have come as no surprise when Peter Friend put Brooklands back in front.
Hang on – this was Surbiton playing the worthy but not particularly successful visitors from Manchester. So when we reached the second half with Brooklands 1-3 up, thanks to a 27th minute Peter Cornell goal, there was a sense of surreal about the whole business. No doubt a good half-time lecture from coach Todd Williams would see Surbiton come out reinvigorated and teach these upstarts from up North a lesson in hockey.
Aiden Khares goal four minutes into the second half showed that Brooklands’ performance was not simply a flash in the pan. It did, however, throw his side into a few minutes of sleepy complacency which allowed Alan Forsyth to continue his reputation as a prolific scorer. But Brooklands was far from finished, with Peter Cornell scoring his second of the match with less than ten minutes left.
Latecomers may have believed there was something wrong with the scoreboard, showing as it did “1-5” to Brooklands. They would have been disappointed when they saw Alan Forsyth score his second with five minutes left, only to see the score change to 2-5. Perhaps the score was showing the wrong way around until then.
2-5 is how the game ended, and a great result for Brooklands MU. Despite the disappointment, there was even something in this match for Surbiton, with Williams expressing his delight at the performance of the youngsters he had blooded.
Can Brooklands hang on to their fourth place? Competition for the last Championship play-off spot is pretty crowded, but Brooklands have struggling Beeston next Sunday, followed by another relegation candidate – Cannock – the week after. In fact they do not meet a side higher in the table than them until 5 March, when they play Holcombe.
Holcombe Consolidate Top Place
Until Saturday Holcombe had only enjoyed their lead at the top of the table by the slimmest of goal differences. Unlike Surbiton they had been unbeaten all season, but three drawn matches had deprived them of six points.
Holcombe’s lead is now for real following their win over Wimbledon on Saturday. A first-half penalty stroke from Nick Catlin, and a penalty corner conversion from Stephane Vehrle-Smith, gave Holcombe a 2-0 advantage going into the second half. Chris Gregg pulled one back for the visitors, but a last minute penalty corner goal from Vehrle-Smith finished the match at 3-1.
The result puts Holcombe three points in front at the head of the table. This Sunday they play host to Reading. Wimbledon’s defeat, and Brooklands’ victory over Surbiton, means that Wimbledon drop out of fourth place into fifth. They play Cannock next Sunday.
Last Ditch Escape?
Before looking at the rest of Saturday’s results, let’s wind the clock forward to Sunday afternoon, when Canterbury visited Hampstead & Westminster.
There are some similarities to last season. Canterbury are trailing at the bottom of the table, and they have been out with their shopping basket and signing some new players in an attempt to avoid relegation. The important difference between the two seasons is that when Cantrebury played their 12th game 12 months ago, they were five points adrift. This season it was ten.
If Canterbury are to avoid the drop, they made a useful start on Sunday against Hampstead & Westminster. Despite the new signings, it was one of their regulars, Wei Adams, who gave them a half-time lead by scoring twice. A penalty corner from Matthew Botha put H&W back into the match, but James Spain finished off a successful day for the visitors by scoring their third. Canterbury’s 1-3 result gives them their first win of the season.
Canterbury’s joy may be short lived. They play Surbiton this Saturday. They need at least eight points to stay out of trouble, which is a big ask at this stage of the season. H&W will not be pleased with their result. After a lively start to the season, they have only taken one point from their last four matches, and are only one point ahead of ninth placed Cannock despite being in seventh.
Reading Stay in Touch
Returning to Saturday’s matches, third placed Reading kept on the heals of the leaders despite conceding two penalty strokes away at Beeston. Chris Newman gave them a 23rd minute lead before Harry Martin converted the first of his two penalties.
Ben Boon put Reading back in front three minutes into the second half, with Simon Mantell scoring Reading’s third six minutes later. Martin’s second penalty conversion followed soon after, but Reading survived the following 19 minutes to win the match 2-3.
The three points, plus Surbiton’s setback on Saturday, means that Reading is only two points behind them. Reading will have a more difficult test this Sunday when they play Holcombe. Beeston could be in serious trouble come the end of the season. They are currently on the same number of points as Cannock who are in ninth, although with a much superior goal difference. Beeston play Brooklands MU this weekend, which will be an important match for both sides.
EG Get Their Mojo Working
After finishing top last season, there was something surreal about East Grinstead spending five weeks of the season with relegation concerns. Things are starting to look up slightly for the Saint Hill side, and it is just possible they could creep into the top four.
Although playing one of the league’s strugglers on Saturday, their 5-2 win against Cannock is a welcome result. Not that things looked that way in the opening three minutes when Cannock scored twice, the first from a Jayshaan Randhawa penalty corner, and the second from a field goal from Thomas Morris.
EG were slow to put that setback behind them. Tony Wilson put them back in the match, with Andy Piper equalising just before the break. ‘Grinstead took the lead early in the second half, with two goals in less than a minute. Simon Faulkner scored from a penalty corner, with Piper scoring his second moments later.
Wesley Jackson, brother of Ashley, made it five just before the final whistle.
THERE ARE IMAGES FROM THE MATCH BETWEEN SURBITON AND BROOKLANDS MU ON OUR PICTURES PAGES. FULL RESULTS AND TABLES CAN BE FOUND BY FOLLOWING THE LINKS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THIS PAGE.
WELL, HERE’S TO YOU MRS MIDDLETON
A few days ago we received an email from one of the press officers at Surbiton Hockey Club which contained the following:
“……..please note that following her marriage to Barry Middleton, Rebecca Herbert is now registered as Rebecca Herbert.”
How an earth their wedding slipped under our radar (and that of a lot of other people too!) we really don’t know, but our congratulations and sincere best wishes to both of them.
Brooklands Aiden Khares is chased by Surbiton’s Robbie Marx during Saturday’s match
IN A DAY OF SURPRISE RESULTS, TOP CLUBS SWAP PLACES
Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division
University of Birmingham surrendered the pole position that they have held all season when they played second-placed Surbiton on Saturday. Both sides had remained unbeaten, with Surbiton having recorded three draws as opposed to Birmingham’s two. One of those draws was when the two sides had met on 15 November, when Jo Hunter converted a late penalty corner for Surbiton to end the match 1-1.
Hunter contributed another late goal on Saturday, when she added a third to Surbiton’s tally. Naomi Evans, a new signing from Australia on her first outing with Surbiton, scored a first half penalty corner, which was followed up by a second half penalty corner conversion from Sarah Page. Jo Hunter’s field goal, two minutes before time, was icing on the cake to give them a 0-3 win.
Surbiton’s next encounter will be against third placed Canterbury, who are only three points behind them in the table. The University have a potentially much easier match when they visit Bowdon Hightown.
Leicester Ease Relegation Fears
We mentioned at the top of this piece that there were some surprise results on Saturday. Holcombe, who had briefly flirted with a Championship play-off place, and were in sixth place, found themselves on the wrong end of the score when they played host to Leicester. Leicester had been at serious risk of finding themselves fighting to avoid relegation and had only recorded seven points when they took the field against Holcombe on Saturday.
Leicester has been busy with new signings of late, but it was the established players who made their mark. Sally Whyte gave Leicester a 0-1 lead at half time, with Katie Long and Rachel Mack scoring twice in the second half. Steph Elliott pulled one back from the penalty spot 17 minutes into half, to see the match end 1-3.
Holcombe remain in sixth place and Leicester in eighth. However, it does greatly improve Leicester’s chances of avoiding the relegation play-off spot. Leicester play East Grinstead this weekend, which theoretically should be a more difficult match. Holcombe play out-of-form Reading.
Lucky February for Buckingham
We were tempted to make this our headline, because the last time that Buckingham won a league match was on 21 February 2015. Perhaps February is a lucky month for Buckingham, as they won their first match of this season on Saturday.
Reading are having their worst season for some time, but their defeat at the hands of bottom-placed Buckingham still comes as a surprise. Both of Buckingham’s goals were scored in the first half, with Abbie Brant and Katrina Nicholson finding the net. Georgie Blackwood pulled one back for Reading from a penalty corner early in the second half but the match ended 1-2.
Although Buckingham look like prime candidates for the automatic relegation spot, their position is not entirely hopeless. They are only two points adrift at the bottom, below Bowdon Hightown in ninth place. However, Buckingham have some difficult fixtures ahead of them, including Clifton this weekend, and Canterbury two weeks later. Reading are marginally in a more comfortable place in seventh, but they are only four points ahead of Bowdon Hightown in the relegation play-off spot.
Katrina Nicholson – scorer against Reading
Anna Keeps Canterbury in the Race
Although the match ended in Canterbury’s favour, you could almost include Saturday’s encounter between them and Bowdon Hightown in the “surprise results” category. Canterbury are having a superb season and have not lost a match since 3 October. Bowdon Hightown managed a reasonable start to the season, but have not now won a match since 17 October and are planted in the relegation play-off spot. Against that background, Anna Kolarova’s 16th minute goal for Canterbury – the only goal of the match – is actually quite a good result. When the two sides met in November, the match ended 1-7 in Canterbury’s favour.
Canterbury are currently in third place, only three points behind the leaders and comfortably ahead of fourth placed East Grinstead. A win against Surbiton this weekend would be nice but, taking into account goal difference and other factors, they are unlikely to improve on their third place. Bowdon Hightown seem to be sinking deep into the mire and are only two points ahead of bottom placed Buckingham.
East Grinstead Rescue Point
East Grinstead need to get their season back into gear after losing four matches on the bounce in the run-up to the Christmas break, and slumping from second to fifth. Four points from their last two matches has restored them to fourth, but they will need to do better than Saturday’s result if they want to keep their Championship hopes alive.
EG twice went behind to visiting Clifton before Lucy Bairner scored a 56th minute equaliser to finish the match 2-2. Clifton’s scorers had been Nicola Moss and Claire Thomas, with ‘Grinstead’s first goal being scored by Zoe Burrell.
East Grinstead is only one point ahead of Clifton, and two points ahead of Holcombe, and have Leicester to thank for keeping them in fourth place.
FULL RESULTS AND TABLES CAN BE FOUND BY FOLLOWING THE LINKS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THIS PAGE
SLOUGH STUMBLE AT MAGPIES – DURHAM SLIP DOWN TABLE – STOURPORT MOVE FORWARD AS PROMOTION CONTENDERS
Leaders, Slough, were having a near perfect season, with only one defeat in 11 games, but they will be disappointed with their goalless draw away at mid-table Harleson Magpies.
There is a small group of clubs competing for second place. St Albans moved into second after a single goal gave them the win at Ipswich. St Albans are eight points behind Slough. The once-mighty Ipswich look done for with only two points from 12 matches.
Cambridge City also move up after a 3-1 win over Hampstead & Westminster. H&W had previously occupied second place but they now move down to fourth, on 20 points, separated from third-placed Cambridge City by goal diffference.
Maidenhead look like candidates for the relegation play-offs. They were beaten 1-3 by fifth placed Sevenoaks, and are five points ahead of Ipswich.
Wakefield continue to dominate the table after a 1-4 win at lowly Springfields. Brooklands Poynton, in second place and five points behind them, keep up the chase with 2-1 win at University of Durham. The University, who held second place for four weeks before the break, have now slumped to fifth.
Despite Springfields’ defeat, relegation issues still remain open. Bottom placed Whitley Bay & Tynemouth are propping up the table, but they are only two points behind ninth placed Springfields. The Tynesiders went down 2-0 to seventh placed Belper on Saturday.
Springfields could claw there way out of the relegation area with a decent win. They are three points behind Liverpool Sefton, who lost 2-0 to Belper. Whitley Bay & Tynemouth and Springfields play each other this Saturday in what might prove a crucial match. Sefton will have a difficult match against Belper.
Stourport kept up its challenge to take the promotion play-off place from Sutton Coldfield with a useful 2-1 win over Swansea City. The result opens up a four point gap between Stourport and the City, who were once serious contenders for the top spot. Stourport are only one point behind the leaders, Sutton Coldfield. Coldfield maintained their slim lead with a 0-3 win at struggling Bristol Firebrands.
Olton & West Warwicks, who seem to be like actors in a tragedy in recent seasons, managed to throw away a 0-2 lead away at Oxford Hawks, to draw the match 2-2. Olton, who are in eighth place, and in desperate need of points, will be grateful for the draw, but a win would have been so much better. They are four points behind seventh placed Trojans, but only two points ahead of ninth placed Firebrands.
Things look increasingly sad at the other Bristol club, University of Bristol. They have occupied the bottom place since day one, and currently have just three points to their name. Their visit by Gloucester City brought no joy. They lost 0-3.
MEN’S CUP QUARTER FINAL RESULTS AND SEMI-FINAL DRAW
City of Peterborough 5
Chichester Priory Park 3
Sheffield University Bankers 1
University of Birmingham 1
Semi Finals (To be played 20 March)
City of Peterborough v Beeston
Surbiton v Chichester Priory Park
Men’s Trophy Round 3
Bourne Deeping 5
Didsbury Northern 4
Waltham Forest 1
Blackheath & OEs 6
Norwich City 2
Wooton under Edge 4
Tulse Hill & Dulwich 1
Ben Rhydding v Burton, walkover to Ben Ryhdding.
One result to come.
Men’s Vase Round 3
Potters Bar 0
North Notts 5
Wootton Bassett 3
Wootton Bassett win 3-1 on penalties
Trinity Mid-Whitgiftians 2
Mid Sussex 4
Keswick win 3-1 on penalties
SOUTHGATE TOPPLE RICHMOND – UNIVERSITY BRIEFLY ENJOY SECOND SPOT – BUCCS LOSE OUT IN TABLE TOPPING CLASH.
Ricmond’s season-long lead at the top of the Conference East came to an abrupt halt when they played challengers Southgate on Sunday. Southgate were two ahead before Richmond’s Charlie Ellison could work his magic from a penalty corner, but it turned out to be Richmond’s only goal of the match. The 3-1 result places Southgate one point ahead of Richmond.
University of Durham briefly enjoyed a few hours in second place in the Conference North after beating Olton & West Warwickshire in a rearranged match on Saturday. Unfortunately they had to play table leaders Loughborough Students the next day and lost 3-2. The University is now one point behind Bowdon, who won their Sunday match against Deeside Ramblers 5-0, and eight points behind Loughborough Students.
Bath Buccaneers and Conference West leaders Cardiff & Met played each other on Sunday in a match that ended in a 0-0 draw. A 0-1 win for University of Birmingham in their match against Indian Gymkhana means that the Buccs and the University are now on 23 points, seven points behind the leaders. Buccs lose their second place on goal difference.
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