Men’s Hockey League Premier Division
Due to the editor’s recent stay in hospital, the next edition will be a day later than usual, namely Tuesday 15 March 2016
PREMIER DIVISION MOVES
Investec Women’s League Premier Division:
No changes this week
Men’s Hockey League:
No changes this week
LEAGUES’ TOP SCORERS
We are in a bit of a quandary this week because we have two players who have scored a total of 25, Richmond’s Charlie Ellison and Loughborough Students’ Luke Taylor. We are going to award to top place to Taylor, who moves up from second. Two of Ellison’s goals were from penalty strokes, which we will give less value to than a field goal or a penalty corner goal. Euan Gilmore (Cambridge City) remains a strong third with a total of 22 goals.
1. Luke Taylor (Con. North, Loughborough Students) 25 penalty corners.
2. Charlie Ellison (Con. East, Richmond) 23 penalty corners, 2 penalty stroke.
3. Euan Gilmour (Con. East, Cambridge City) 18 field goals, 1 penalty corner, 3 penalty strokes.
Positions in out table remain unchanged, although a single goal scored could make a huge difference. In fact there was only a single goal from our top three last weekend, and that was a penalty corner conversion by Sutton Coldfield’s Vickey Woolford.
1. Amy Sheehan (Con. East, Slough) 16 field goals, 1 penalty stroke.
2. Sophie Robinson (Con. North, Beeston) 13 field goals, 1 penalty corner, 2 penalty strokes.
3. Vicky Woolford (Con. West, Sutton Coldfield) 5 field goals, 10 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.
THE NAUGHTY BOYS’ (AND GIRLS) BRIGADE
Oh dear what’s going on at Oxted? They were leading our hall of infamy by virtue of their single red card. We regret to say that they would now be joint top even without the red card, having amassed a total of 20 yellows, the same as Canterbury. But with the red card, Oxted stay top, with Canterbury in second. Teddington drop down to third place with 19 yellows. And, before we start blaming the umpires, it’s worth mentioning that there are two clubs with less than five yellows. They are Conference West Bath Buccaneers and Conference East Richmond.
for the second weekend running there is no change to the leaders in the list of naughty girls. University of Durham still lead the table with nine yellows, with Whitley Bay & Tynemouth and Olton & West Warwicks both on eight.
Investec Women’s Premier League
England Hockey League
FULL RESULTS AND TABLES CAN BE FOUND BY FOLLOWING THE LINKS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THIS PAGE
7 March 2016
A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR………..
MY APOLOGIES TO THE OWNER OF A CAR IN EAST GRINSTED’S CAR PARK.
You may have returned to your car and found your driver’s door mirror out of alignment. Sorry – I bumped into it. I must quickly add that I was walking, not driving. In fact I was feeling a bit under the weather that afternoon and got a lift to Saint Hill rather than drive.
For most of the evening and next day, I kept bumping into things. By three o’clock on Sunday I realised that it was not just a series of silly accidents. Something was not right.
I took myself off to my local accident and emergency unit and finished up spending two nights in hospital. I had a small bleed on the brain.
So that is why this edition of Hockey Talk is several days late.
I am anticipating making a full recovery but I will be unable to drive for at least a month. However, I am hoping to get to some games before I can drive again.
Hockey Talk will resume its usual schedule, but meanwhile – thank you for your continued support.
INVESTEC HAS 2020 VISION
It certainly is a exciting end to the 2015-2016 Premier League season. Although the four qualifiers for the Championship Play-offs are known, the battle to avoid relegation continues.
Last weekend saw the clubs each play two matches back-to-back and, in a change to our usual format, we take a look at the results on a club-by-club basis.
Six points from two matches puts Holcombe in poll position and, with seven points between them and second-placed Surbiton, they will finish the season in the top place.
Saturday saw them at home to the resurgent Brooklands MU. Their Manchester visitors went home with no points after the home side’s 3-1 win. Holcombe’s scorers were Sam Ward and Gareth Andrew (2). Brooklands; scorer was Richard Slater.
Holcombe was as good as home and dry in the top spot when they entertained Beeston the next day. Two goals from the ever-eager Sam Ward, and goals from James Stedman, and a returning Ashley Jackson, gave Holcombe a 4-1 win to confirm their position.
This weekend’s match is a bit academic as far as their table position is concerned, but it may have a significant effect on the bottom half of the table. They play Hampstead & Westminster (qv).
Absences have forced coach Todd Williams to blood a few youngsters, and evidently he is pleased with their performance.
Saturday evening saw Surbiton a little slow to get into their stride at East Grinstead but, once they were, they were unstoppable. David Beckett had scored early for the visitors, but Sam Driver soon equalised for EG. But after that the home side fell victim of a combination of bad luck and excellent defending, and could not find the net. It was a different story at the other end, with Dave Beckett and Alan Forsyth scoring a pair apiece, and Andrew Hayward putting the icing on the cake with a penalty corner conversion. Final score, 1-5 to the visitors.
Surbiton remained in third place overnight, but moved into second place on Sunday with a 1-2 win at Reading. Surbiton’s scorer was Rupert Shipperley for both their goals, Reading’s scorer was Jack Smart.
Surbiton visit struggling Cannock this weekend, which should be good for three points. Although their Promotion Play-off place is assured, they are only two points ahead of Reading and could slip down to third.
Athough they won one of their two matches over the weekend, things did not go particularly well for Reading. Against lowly Cannock on Saturday they were rescued by a late penalty corner by Richard Mantell.
Reading had gone into the break at 2-0 with late first-half goals from Jonty Clarke and Richard Mantell, but first Peter Jackson, and then Harry Jawanda, found the net to bring the score to 2-2. Sadly for Cannock, Mantell scored the winner with a last gasp penalty corner.
Reading lost their Sunday match against Surbiton 1-2 (see above).
Reading’s place in the top four is assured. Technically they could move up to second or move down to fourth, but only if some pretty remarkable results came their way. Their last match is against Brooklands.
Wimbledon’s fourth place (and a place in the Championship Play-offs) was anything but assured at the start of the weekend with a re-vitalised Brooklands MU breathing down their neck. The fact that their score at home to Hampstead & Westminster remained stuck at 0-0 until the closing seconds must have caused some nervous moments, but a 70th minute penalty corner conversion by Phil Ball gave them a 1-0 result and three points.
Their Sunday match saw them come from behind after Tony Wilson had taken East Grinstead into a 1-0 lead. Two goals in the first ten minutes of the second half, the first from Ali Brogdon and the second from Johnny Kinder, provided the Dons with a 1-2 win and a useful six points from the weekend.
Wimbledon is now seven points clear of fifth placed Brooklands MU and three points behind Reading. However, the goal difference is substantially in Readings favour (+12 as opposed to +5).
This Sunday Wimbledon will play Canterbury, who will be assured to give them no quarter.
Brooklands has been enjoying one of its best seasons ever, and actually stood a chance of getting into the last four. Unfortunately the fixture list was against them.
Saturday’s match ended predictably, with a 3-1 to Holcombe. By Sunday, any hopes of getting into the top four were fast slipping away, but some points against Canterbury were always a possibility.
Any club playing Canterbury towards the end of the season needs to be afraid – very afraid. After only taking one point from their first 11 matches, Canterbury had only dropped three points in their last six.
Brooklands started the scoring with a 25th minute goal from Peter Cornell, but James Spain answered with a penalty corner conversion soon after. Wei Adams put Canterbury ahead early in the second half, with Craig Boyne putting the icing on the Canterbury cake with a late penalty stroke. Brooklands was not entirely finished and gave the Kent side a nervous final two minutes after Ross Hall found the net. Final score 3-2 to Canterbury.
Brooklands face Reading this weekend, and although you would have to put your money on Reading, let’s not forget that Brooklands beat Surbiton 5-3 a month ago. They seem more or less secure in their fifth place, three points ahead of H&W. They have a much better goal difference if the sides draw level. (Brooklands +1. H&W -7.)
HAMPSTEAD & WESTMINSTER
Hampstead & Westminster is the highest ranked of the clubs with relegation concerns. On Saturday morning they were in eighth place, only two points above the ninth placed side. Their Saturday match did nothing to improve this when they went down 1-0 to Wimbledon.
Sunday proved to be a more profitable day for the London side when they travelled to Cannock. H&W were trailing 1-0 at half time due to a Callum Mackenzie goal, but penalty corners from Joel Carroll and Stuart Loughrey finally gave the visitors a 1-2 win and three points.
Technically, H&W is not yet out of the woods, being only three points ahead of the ninth placed side, but their goal difference is a relatively modest -7. Next weekend Hampstead & Westminster play Holcombe, and we’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about the possible outcome of that match.
This time last season Beeston was in fourth place. This season has seen them hover between sixth and eighth, but their points have been a shadow of last season’s performances. Their position was not improved by the weekend’s results. They will be particularly disappointed by Saturday’s match against (then) bottom-placed Canterbury, more details of which you will find in the Canterbury section below. Suffice to way that Canterbury emerged the 4-3 winners.
Beeston’s opposition on Sunday was Holcombe, a match from which there could only be one outcome. Holcombe’s 4-1 win must leave Beeston wondering what their current position would be had they not lost free-scoring Sam Ward and goalkeeper James Pinner to Holcombe.
Beeston’s final match will be against East Grinstead, who are one point below them in the table. On Canterbury’s current form, a defeat by East Grinstead could push them into the relegation play-off position.
Looking to stay out of danger, it could not have been a worse weekend for EG, first facing Surbiton and then Wimbledon. Wimbledon seems to be a bit of a bogey team for ‘Grinstead, even when they are on-form. So a nasty 1-5 defeat at home to Surbiton was followed by a 1-2 reverse at Wimbledon.
With no points from two matches, EG find themselves only one point above the side in the relegation play-off place. There next match is against Beeston. They need the points.
Canterbury really must stop doing this. This is the second season where they out-for-the count but somehow managed to pick themselves up.
At the start of the weekend they were in 10th place, two points behind Cannock. They improved their survival chances with a particularly successful weekend, consisting of a win on Saturday against Beeston, followed by a win the next day against Brooklands. Including those results, Canterbury has earned 15 points from it’s last seven matches. That’s quite a boost to their survival prospects. But is it enough?
Saturday’s encounter against visiting Beeston saw Canterbury twice equalise, then surrender a lead, and finally win the match in the last five minutes. Canterbury’s scorers were Ross Gilham-Jones, Joshua Pollard and Wei Adams, with Pollard scoring a second to provide the winner. All Beeston’s goals came from corners scored by Mark Gleghorne in the 4-3 result.
Canterbury won Sunday’s match against Brooklands 3-2.
The result of this weekend’s match between Beeston and East Grinstead offers Canterbury the opportunity to move ahead of one of them. It much depends on the outcome of this Sunday’s match against Wimbledon. Canterbury’s form over the last few weeks has been marginally better, but Wimbledon will be a tough nut to crack.
So what happens if Canterbury lose? At the very best it is a relegation play-off place. But bottom placed Cannock will be fighting for their survival. If Canterbury lose and Cannock win, Canterbury will be automatically relegated.
It’s hard to believe that Cannock was in fifth place earlier in the season, but thing have not gone well for them, and things did not improve over the weekend. But it is clear that they have no intention of going down without a fight. They only lost against Reading on Saturday as a result of a late Richard Mantell penalty corner conversion, and Sunday’s match against Hampstead & Westminster was a1-2 finish. But, nevertheless, they move down into the automatic relegation spot for the first time.
Cannock’s position is looking pretty desperate. Now that Surbiton has restored its belief in itself, we do not see them losing against Cannock this weekend. It is a win or nothing, or Cannock is relegated.
With Rio only a few months away, England and GB women’s hockey sponsor Investec has announced that it will continue its support through to 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics. The banking and investment management group also retains its sponsorship of the Women’s Hockey League, the Girls’ School Championship and the Investec London Cup.
Commenting on the announcement, England Hockey Chief Executive Sally Munday said, “Investec’s support for women’s hockey has been extraordinary. They have helped us take our work at all levels of the game significantly further forward, and we are much closer to our vision of a ‘Nation Where Hockey Really Matters’ than in 2011.”
Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. Investec first became sponsors of women’s hockey for England and GB in 2011.
ONE MATCH TO GO AND RELEGATION BATTLE CONTINUES
Down? East Grinstead is one of a number of top clubs who could find themselves in the relegation play-off position this weekend. The picture is from last week’s match against Surbiton.
EVERYTHING REMAINS UP FOR GRABS WITH TWO MATCHES REMAINING
Top place still up for grabs, Championship places still undecided, and relegation issues remain open – it’s an exciting end to the 2015-16 season.
Surbiton moved into and reconciled their lead at the top of the table by two wins over the weekend. The first was their scheduled league match against Clifton, which they won 3-1, followed by their re-arranged match against Bowdon Higtown. That ended in a 4-1 win to Surbiton.
The two wins put Surbiton three points ahead of second-placed Canterbury.
Our recent tip-for-the-top, Canterbury, maintained their progress with a 2-3 win at Buckingham. Canterbury move into second place, displacing University of Birmingham. The University could only draw at home to East Grinstead, and that thanks to their Erica Sanders who scored a late goal.
East Grinstead dropping points enabled Holcombe to move into fourth place. Holcombe added to Bowdon Hightown’s weekend misery by beating them 2-1 at home.
Leicester moved up into sixth place after a profitable visit by Reading, which ended 1-0 in Leicester’s favour.
So the weekend’s hockey has had the following effect on the table. Surbiton, Canterbury and Birmingham University are assured of a place in the Championship Play-offs. Holcombe currently hold the fourth place but both they and East Grinstead have difficult matches this weekend. Remarkably, Leicester has an outside chance of fourth place if both those sides lose.
Relegation issues are divided between Buckingham in bottom place, with Bowdon Hightown four points above them, and Reading four points above Bowdon. Bowdon are playing Buckingham in a vitally important game for both sides this weekend. Reading has the misfortune of playing host to Surbiton.
With two matches left, and six points to be won, it promises to an exciting end to the season.
Investec Women’s Premier League
FOR THE REASONS OUTLINED ELSEWHERE IN THIS
EDITION, IT HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE TO INCLUDE
NEWS FROM THE CONFERENCES THIS WEEK
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