Number 53


15 February 2016

Men’s Hockey League Premier Division






Investec Women’s League Premier Division:


No changes this week


Men’s Hockey League:


No changes this week





(All Divisions)




Only two of our leading goalscorers found the net over the weekend, which means that last week’s number two moves down one place.  Richmond’s Charlie Ellison added a brace of penalty corners to his impressive total to keep him ahead. Euan Gilmour from Cambridge City went one better with a penalty stroke and two field goals, which moves him into our number two spot. It was a goalless weekend for Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth, and he now only holds his third place by virtue of the fact that most of his goals have come from open play. Loughborough Student’s Luke Taylor and Oxted’s Robbert Schenk are both of 17 goals, the same as Forsyth, but they are penalty corner specialists. Under our rules field goals count for more.


1. Charlie Ellison (Con. East, Richmond) 22 penalty corners, 1 penalty stroke.


2. Euan Gilmour (Con. East, Cambridge City) 17 field goals, 3 penalty strokes.


3. Alan Forsyth (Premier Division, Surbiton) 15 field goals, 1 Penalty Corner, 1 Penalty stroke.





Slough’s Amy Sheehan scored the only goal in her side’s match against St Albans, which enables her to have a two gaol lead against her nearest rivals. Beeston’s Sophie Robinston moves up to second place after scoring a penalty corner against Loughborough Students on Saturday. Surprisingly it’s her first corner goal of the season. Also on 14 goals, but with more coming from penalty corners (nine and not 89 as reported last week), Sutton Coldfield’s Vicky Woolford slips down to third. She did not score over the weekend.


1. Amy Sheehan (Con. East, Slough) 15 field goals, 1 penalty stroke.


2. Sophie Robinson (Con. North, Beeston) 11 field goals, 1 penalty corner, 2 penalty strokes.


3.  Vicky Woolford (Con. West, Sutton Coldfield) 5 field goals, 9 penalty corners.



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.






We recently had pleasure in boasting to a football referee that our national hockey league had only seen one red card all season.  But, for the club whose player received the card it is bad news because it means they will remain at the head of our hall of infamy until another red is issued. Even if we counted red cards the same as yellows, Oxted would still among the contenders with one red and 13 yellows. Second place remains with Teddington with 18 yellows, one up from last week. Canterbury drop off our list, to be replaced by Sevenoaks with 16.


From the women’s sides, Durham University stay top of the flops with nine yellows, but at least did not receive any over the weekend. Whitely Bay & Tynemouth take over the sole second place this week after picking up a yellow. We now have no less than three clubs in third place, Ben Rhydding and Brooklands Poynton from Conference North, and Olton & West Warwicks from Conference West. Sad to report that East Grinstead’s Alice Pyrgos got her side’s first yellow card of the season on Saturday, spoiling their unblemished record.  This leaves Slough as the only club not to have received a yellow card all season.



Women’s Knock-out Cups

Men’s Conferences Highlights

European Indoor Club Championships

England Hockey League

Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division

After an absence of only one week the women of Birmingham University reclaimed the top spot that they had held since the start of the season.


The University’s 0-2 win came over lowly Bowdon Hightown. It was a game that saw a second half penalty stroke converted by Erica Sanders and a goal from Hannah Martin, all in the space of two minutes. Although they won the three points,  it was a result elsewhere that enabled them to resumed their pole position.


Lost Points Cause Surbiton to Slip


It turned out not to be a good weekend for Surbiton sides visiting Canterbury. Although the women avoided a defeat, the result causes them to slip out of the top spot.


It always promised to be a tight match and, although Jenna Woolven managed to give Surbiton a second half lead, it was a lead that lasted for 16 minutes before Grace Balsdon equalised from a penalty corner.  Final score 1-1.


The one point from that match means that Surbiton move down to second, with Canterbury three points behind them.




Reading’s Tommy Alexander is beaten Stephane Vehrle-Smith penalty corner
conversion for Holcombe only three minutes into their Sunday league meet.

There was a smattering of unexpected results in the Men’s Premier Division over the weekend.


Canterbury Tails For How Much Longer?


No result would have been more surprising than the outcome of the game between Canterbury and Surbiton, Saturday’s only Premiership match. Canterbury has played the late get-out-of-jail game before, but this season looked less promising than it did this time last year.  And playing second placed Surbiton?  Only a fool would put his money on the outcome of that match.


The “fool” would have come out of the bookies a much richer man had he put his money on the underdogs. As we mentioned last week, scoring first can be a bad omen, and Canterbury has a long record of scoring first and losing matches. Always dependable Wei Adams found the net from a penalty corner to give Canterbury a head start after 10 minutes. The inevitable happened and Scott Evans equalised soon afterwards to put the sides at 1-1.


There was nothing “inevitable” about Canterbury’s two goals either side of the break. Andrew Sutherland scored just before the whistle, and the second half was less than a minute old when Craig Boyne put the score at 3-1 in Canterbury’s favour.


A bit of reality returned to the match when Surbiton’s Robert Marx scored his side’s second, but it was Canterbury who were to have the last word. A last gasp penalty corner from Wei Adams gave Canterbury an unlikely 4-2 victory.


Although Canterbury are not out of the wood’s by a long way, two wins in successive weekends puts them in striking distance of play-off place as opposed to automatic relegation, or perhaps something even better. They are four points below Cannock, and five points beneath Hampstead & Westminster and Beeston.


Next week Canterbury play Reading.  We would have thought that was a dead ringer for a Reading win. Now we are not so sure. Surbiton keep their second place but are four points  short of the leaders, Holcombe. Surbiton seem a bit out of form lately – they have lost four of their last six matches.  They play Wimbledon this weekend, a side whose performance is often beyond prediction.


Red Mist at Holcombe


It’s a bit unsporting but we can understand why a player might perform an over-the-top tackle when his opponent has a clear shot at goal, but what about when the ball is heading for the corner post? More on this above later.


We were at the important league match between Holcombe and Reading at Holcombe Park on Sunday.  Whilst the attention has been on the top-of-the-table struggle between Holcombe and Surbiton, Reading has been quietly building up points, almost unnoticed. On Sunday morning they were only three points behind second placed Surbiton.


Sometimes we come across matches that are hard to sum up in a few words. This was one of them.  Two well-matches sides, packed with very experienced players.  Ashley Jackson and Barry Middleton were absent from the Holcombe line-up, but the squad is robust enough to withstand that.


The strength of Holcombe was illustrated by an third-minute penalty corner conversion from Stephane Vehrle-Smith, which goalie Tommy Alexander almost got a stick to. But the match took a different turn when Reading’s Irish international John Jackson scored soon afterwards, and then added a second from a penalty corner as the break approached. Just as the final minutes of the first-half were being played, Simon Mantel found the net to give Reading a commanding 1-3 lead.


One of the features of this match was you sometimes got the impression that both sides thought they were playing a sixth Xl.  You might get away with showing the ball on an open stick at that level, but not here, and it resulted is more turnovers than we could record.


The game almost seemed done and dusted when Sam Ward gave Holcombe some hope, with a goal scored with eight minutes left on the clock. It is worth contemplating what would have happened if the score had stayed at 2-3.  Reading would have moved ahead of Surbiton into second place, only two points behind their opposition.


So, we come to the finale of the match. There is less than a minute to play. Holcombe has the ball down by Reading’s corner post, when their player is taken out by a sliding tackle. The resulting penalty corner saw Gareth Andrew score an equaliser and rescue a point from the match.


No doubt there will be post mortem’s at both clubs. But that tackle – really? It had something of the red mist about it.


Next week Holcombe are visiting East Grinstead, who did not play over the weekend. They were playing in the European Indoor Club Championships in Hamburg.


Late Goals Disappoint at Brooklands


Brooklands flirtation with a top-four place was short lived, and they will be bitterly disappointed by their result at home to Beeston on Sunday.


A goalless first half was followed by a period that saw Stefan Ray-Hills and Richard Slater give Brooklands a 2-0 lead.  The lead was lost with two goals in two minutes with less than five minutes left on the clock.  Brooklands gave away a penalty stroke which was converted by Harry Martin, followed by an equaliser from James  Alberry.


Looking on the bright side, that’s till six undefeated matches in a row for Brooklands, a record which Beeston would envy, but perhaps a little disappointing after their win over Surbiton last weekend.


Brooklands MU could find themselves back in the points when they play Cannock next weekend. Beeston will be at home to Hampstead & Westminster.


Wimbledon Reclaim Championship Place


We think that we were at the best match on Sunday, but the score in the game between Wimbledon and Cannock has us intrigued.


Ali Brogon, James Jewell, Chris Gregg and Casper Phijffer had given Wimbledon a 4-0 lead by the 21st minutes and, as far as Wimbledon was concerned, that it was it for the rest of the match. But Cannock had not rolled over. Jayshaan Randhawa and Arjan Drayton Chana scored twice for Cannock before the break, with Randhawa scoring his second towards the end of the match. Final score 4-3 to Wimbledon.


The three points move Wimbledon back above Brooklands MU and into fourth place in the table.  Cannock remain in the relegation play-off spot, but will be nervously watching the revitalised Canterbury,








Despite the loss of some of their key players over the last few seasons, East Grinstead had one of their best European indoor finishes over the weekend in Hamburg.


Despite two draws on the first day –  1-1 against Aminen and 3-3 against Grunwald Poznan – EG managed to finish second in Pool B after a 4-2 win over Complutense.


The Grinners had the misfortune to meet the eventual champions, Harvestehuder in the semi-final, and lost out 4-0, before losing the 3rd/4th place match to Partille 1-4.


Final standings:


1.  Harvestehuder  (Germany)

2.  Arminen (Austria)

3.  Partille (Sweden)

4.  East Ginstead (England)

5.  Grunwald Poznan (Poland)

6.  Complutense (Spain)

7.  Slavia Praha (Czech Rep.)

8.  Luzerner (Switzerland)



Canterbury captain Grace Balsdon, whose goal for Canterbury stopped Surbiton from keeping their top place in the table

Next weekend the University play Clifton, who are in the running for a place in the Championship Play-offs, whilst Canterbury visit struggling Reading. Surbiton will be without a match whilst Bowdon Hightown play indoors in European competition.


Rejuvenated Leicester


Other than at the top there was little other movement in the table over the weekend. Leicester was one exception to the rule. They won their second match on the bounce after they had gone behind to a penalty corner conversion by Alice Pyrgos by visiting East Grinstead. EG’s lead was short lived, with an early reply from a corner by Rachel Mack, and a goal from Katie Long.


The three points from their 2-1 win moves them up to seventh place. This weekend sees Leicester at Buckingham, which might be good for another three points.


Although they keep their fourth place, ‘Grinstead is now one of three clubs on 18 points, split only by goal difference. The others are Clifton and Holcombe. They are at Holcombe this Saturday, and we spied their coach Mary Booth, giving the opposition a once-over at Holcombe Park on Sunday during the Cup match.


Reading Down One Place


Leicester’s win pushes Reading down into eighth place after they lost away at Holcombe on Saturday. A first-half goal from Sarah Jones, and second half goals from Tamsyn Naylor and Kim Leiper, gave the home side a 3-0 win.


Reading have a difficult match in prospect this weekend when they play Canterbury.


Buckingham Gain Another Point


Buckingham’s fortunes saw a modest improvement on Saturday. After only winning two points all season, they recorded a win a week ago and have followed this up with a draw against Clifton. It’s only one point, but it was against fifth placed Clifton.


Clifton will be disappointed because it was a golden opportunity for them to move into the fourth Championship Play-off place.


Buckingham’s position no longer looks quite so dire, and they are now only one point behind Bowdon Hightown.




Canterbury captain Grace Balsdon, whose goal for Canterbury stopped Surbiton from keeping their top place in the table

Sarah Jones, the scorer of Holcombe’s
only goal at home to Bowdon Hightown



Five Premiership clubs reached the Quarter-finals of the Women’s Cup, of which three move on to play in the Semi-finals.  The two casualties fell to other Premier Division sides.


Bowdon Hightown nearly brought a piece of joy to their season when they played a depleted Holcombe on Sunday. Although Sarah Jones opened the score in double quick time for Holcombe, Auro Mears was called into action between the sticks more than once to fend off Hightown attacks.  The last few minutes of the match saw the Holcombe defence under immense pressure, but somehow it held firm for long enough for the match to end 1-0.


The match was played in tandem with the Men’s League match between Holcombe and Reading, which resulted in a good crowd.


Holcombe will now play Clifton away in the Semi-finals on 15 March.


The only non-Premiership side to survive is Brooklands Poynton, who beat Barnes 1-2 courtesy of two penalty corner conversions from Sophie Clough.  They now play Buckingham.


Buckingham reach the Semi-finals after a 3-2 win over Ben Rhydding, and Clifton are in the Semis after beating University of Birmingham 3-2.


Investec Women’s Vase Results


Chichester Priory Park 5

Winchester 2


Felixstowe 0

Oxted 4


Formby 2

Stockport Bramhall 1


Old Silhillians 0

Bloxwich 2


Ramsey 3

Leyland & Chorley 2


Sonning 7

Camberley & Farnborough 0


Amersham & Chalfont v Aylesbury

West Bridgford v Shefford & Sandy

Walkover to first named team

Men’s Knock-out Cups

Men’s Trophy Results

Basingstoke 3 London Edwardians 6


Cheshunt 0 Camberley & Farnborough 6


East Conference Sevenoaks had a game in hand at the start of the weekend, and so played on both Saturday and Sunday.  A 3-2 win over Brighton & Hove, following on from a 2-4 win over Teddington, puts them on 29 points, the same as second-placed Richmond. Richmond is only one point behind leader’s Southgate, so it looks like an exciting finale to the season is in prospect. Fourth placed Cambridge City had a goalfest at home to Bromley & Beckenham, winning 9-2.


In the North our eye was caught by the result of the match between bottom placed Lichfield and Wakefield.  Wakefield are not having a great season, but 6-1 is still an impressive win for the bottom club. They are now only one point behind ninth placed Olton & West Warwicks.  Loughborough Students Continue to lead the North table.


In the West Cardiff & Met still lead the table, but arch rivals Bath Buccaneers move into second place, four points behind the leaders. Buccs beat Guildford 4-1 on Sunday, and University of Birmingham could only draw against Cheltenham the following day.  Cardiff did not play over the weekend as they were representing Wales in the European Indoor Clubs Challenge in Bulgaria, and now have a game in hand.


Investec Women’s Conferences Highlights


Slough seem to have put their mid-season wobbles behind them, and they enjoy a commanding lead at the top of the Conference East.  It was Amy Sheehan who yet again kept their campaign on course with a second-half goal against St Albans to win the match 0-1.  Bottom placed Ipswich found themselves on the wrong end of a high scoring match when they lost 7-1 to Wimbledon. Ipswich are now six points adrift.


Wakefield has led the North table all season, but they are now under pressure from Brooklands Poynton. Brooklands has only lost one match all season, but a series of draws at the start of the season robbed them of points.  The two sides met on Saturday and Brooklands emerged as the 0-1 leaders, reducing the gap to two points. The bottom-of the table clash between Whitley Bay & Tynemouth and Springfields ended 1-0 in Tynemouth’s favour. Springfields drop down to bottom and Tynemouth move up to ninth.


There was no movement in the West table over the weekend, with Sutton Coldfield beating Gloucester City 1-2 to maintain their one point lead over second-placed Stourport.






Great Britain women are currently playing in a six-match test series in Australia. At the time of uploading this week’s edition they had played two of their matches.





Australia 4  Great Britain 3

GB Scorers: Hannah Macleod, Ellie Watton, Sophie Bray.



Australia 0 Great Britain 1

GB Scorer: Susie Gilbert