A dramatic weekend of action saw Surbiton continue their march towards the Vitality Women’s Premier Division title while Old Georgians extended their advantage at the summit of the Men’s Premier Division.
In-form Darcy Bourne stole the headlines once again for Surbiton as her four goals helped the league leaders to a dominant 7-1 win over Beeston in the Vitality Women’s Premier Division.
In the Men’s Premier Division, Old Georgians increased their lead at the top of the standings with a clinical 8-2 win over Holcombe after title rivals Wimbledon and Surbiton played out an entertaining 5-5 draw.
Meanwhile, title races and relegation battles took more twists and turns in Division 1 and the Conferences too, with no shortage of excitement in the leagues across the country.
Darcy Bourne’s fine form continued as she helped Surbiton power to an impressive 7-1 win over Beeston to remain top of the Vitality Women’s Premier Division.
Having scored hat-tricks in her past two matches, she scored four as Surbiton extended their unbeaten run to 16 matches. Georgie Twigg, Maddie Long and Alice Sharp were also on the scoresheet for Surbiton while Lucy Millington was on target for the hosts.
East Grinstead sit just four points behind Surbiton after a significant 2-1 win over Wimbledon. Sophie Bray put East Grinstead ahead before Olivia Chilton’s leveller, only for Bray to score a second to see her side claim victory.
Meanwhile, there was also a crucial win for Hampstead & Westminster, who triumphed 5-1 over Clifton Robinsons for just their second win since the league resumed.
Jasmine Clark, Fran Tew, Lauren Turner, Lucy Hyams and Grace Balsdon all struck for the visitors, with Livvy Hoskins scoring a consolation for Clifton Robinsons.
In the Bottom 5, Swansea are still yet to win after falling to a 3-0 defeat to Buckingham. Lottie Porter struck twice for the hosts, with Lauren Thomas also on target as Buckingham move to 15 points.
They are just two points behind University of Birmingham, who were also victorious with a 3-1 win over Loughborough Students. Becky Manton and two Lexie Clark efforts sealed a comfortable win, the visitors grabbing a consolation through Ellie Mackenzie.
Vitality Women’s Premier Division – ‘Top 6’
- Beeston 1-7 Surbiton
- Clifton Robinsons 1-5 Hampstead & Westminster
- Wimbledon 1-2 East Grinstead
- Buckingham 3-0 Swansea
- University of Birmingham 3-1 Loughborough Students
Division One North
University of Nottingham maintained their slender lead at the top of the table with a 3-1 win over Ben Rhydding, a tenth win in a row for the side. However, they remain only one point ahead of Bowdon who defeated Belper 3-0. Durham University picked up a comfortable 4-0 win on their visit to Brooklands Poynton, while Leicester City defeated Stourport 2-0 as Gloucester City and Olton & West Warwickshire contested a 1-1 draw. Those results for Belper and Olton & West Warwickshire leave them all but mathematically relegated.
- Belper 0-3 Bowdon
- Brooklands Poynton 0-4 Durham University
- Gloucester City 1-1 Olton & West Warwickshire
- Stourport 0-2 Leicester City
- University of Nottingham 3-1 Ben Rhydding
Division One South
Reading now hold a six-point lead in the league after a comfortable 4-0 win over bottom side Trojans. Closest rivals Sevenoaks fell to a shock 3-2 defeat to Cambridge City, who had not scored in four matches prior to the contest. Slough moved to within one point of Sevenoaks after a 5-2 win over Wimbledon 2s while Surbiton 2s defeated Harleston Magpies 4-2. Isca & University of Exeter and Canterbury contested a 0-0 draw.
- Cambridge City 3-2 Sevenoaks
- Harleston Magpies 2-4 Surbiton 2s
- Isca & University of Exeter 0-0 Canterbury
- Reading 4-0 Trojans
- Wimbledon 2s 2-5 Slough
A 3-0 defeat to Bromley & Beckenham meant Canterbury 2s have been relegated in what was a must-win match. Meanwhile, league leaders Barnes were comfortable 3-1 winners over East London to extend their unbeaten run to 12 matches, and now hold a seven-point lead after closest rivals Southgate and London Wayfarers played out a 2-2 draw. Elsewhere, Ipswich ended Chelmsford’s five-match unbeaten run with a 3-0 victory while Hampstead & Westminster 2s defeated Horsham 3-0.
- Barnes 3-1 East London
- Canterbury 2s 0-3 Bromley & Beckenham
- Horsham 0-3 Hampstead & Westminster 2s
- Ipswich 3-0 Chelmsford
- Southgate 2-2 London Wayfarers
Sutton Coldfield maintained their six-point lead at the top of the table with a 3-1 win over University of Birmingham 2s, though closest rivals Bedford eased past Broxbourne 8-2. Broxbourne are now winless in seven matches and are bottom of the table after Khalsa Leamington beat Beeston 2s 1-0. Loughborough Students 2s defeated Cannock 4-2 while there was a welcome 2-1 win for Oxford University against St Albans.
- Beeston 2s 0-1 Khalsa Leamington
- Broxbourne 2-8 Bedford
- Loughborough Students 2s 4-2 Cannock
- Oxford University 2-1 St Albans
- University of Birmingham 2s 1-3 Sutton Coldfield
A 2-0 win for Leeds against Alderley Edge extended their unbeaten run to seven games as they remain seven points clear at the top of the Conference North, with their closest contenders Wakefield picking up a 1-0 win over Doncaster. Pendle Forest picked up a crucial 3-0 win against Timperley in their fight for survival, with league rivals Neston losing 4-2 to Fylde. Elsewhere, Durham University 2s picked up a 1-0 victory over Didsbury Northern.
- Durham University 2s 1-0 Didsbury Northern
- Leeds 2-0 Alderley Edge
- Neston 2-4 Fylde
- Timperley 0-3 Pendle Forest
- Doncaster 0-1 Wakefield
Team Bath Buccaneers moved just one point from the top of the table thanks to a 5-1 win over already-relegated University of Bristol, with league leaders Witney held to a 3-3 draw by Basingstoke. Bristol Firebrands are just four points off the summit after a narrow 3-2 win over Exe, while Cheltenham were also 3-2 winners in their contest against Penarth. Elsewhere, Clifton Robinsons 2s were comfortable 3-0 winners over Oxford Hawks.
- Bristol Firebrands 3-2 Exe
- Cheltenham 3-2 Penarth
- Clifton Robinsons 2s 3-0 Oxford Hawks
- Team Bath Buccaneers 5-1 University of Bristol
- Witney 3-3 Basingstoke
Men’s Hockey League (10-13 March)
A thrilling weekend of action in the Men’s Premier Division saw Old Georgians extend their lead at the top with a clinical 8-2 win over Holcombe while their title rivals played out a dramatic draw.
Wimbledon and Surbiton had the chance to put the pressure on the league leaders in their Saturday showdown but an entertaining contest ended in a 5-5 draw.
Surbiton had won on their last three visits to Wimbledon and stormed into an early 2-0 lead thanks to efforts from Jamie Golden and Jack Middleton before Wimbledon responded through Ben Francis and Ed Horler to level the match up.
The visitors retook the lead through Luke Taylor before extending their advantage to 5-2 with further strikes from James Gall and a second for Middleton. But second-placed Wimbledon launched a remarkable late recovery, with David Condon scoring a brace before Horler added his second of the game to rescue a memorable draw.
That result kept Wimbledon in second place in the standings but opened the door for leaders Old Georgians to increase their lead – an opportunity they grasped with both hands.
Tom Carson opened the scoring before James Albery, Sam Ward, Ashley Jackson, James Tindall and James Carson all struck to put Old Georgians into a commanding 6-0 lead.
Holcombe, who beat Surbiton 3-0 last weekend, responded through Rob Field but two more goals for Ward completed his hat-trick put the icing on the cake for Old Georgians before Tom Russell added a late consolation for the visitors.
Old Georgians now hold a ten-point lead at the summit of the Top 6 standings, but they were not the only team to take make the most of Surbiton and Wimbledon’s draw on Saturday.
Hampstead & Westminster also closed the gap to Surbiton in third, coming from a goal behind against East Grinstead to win 4-1 after Louis Gittens had put the hosts in front.
Matthew Guise-Brown scored two quickfire goals for the visitors as they took the lead for the first time and he later completed his hat-trick after Kei Kaeppeler also found the target.
Elsewhere, University of Exeter were unable to back up their sensational 9-0 win over Durham University last weekend as they went down 4-2 to Brooklands Manchester University.
Brooklands hit the ground running with goals from Andrew Jackson and Nick Hale before University of Exeter reduced the deficit thanks to an effort from Rhys Bradshaw.
Andrew Rusbridge added a third for Brooklands and while Jacob Payton pulled one back again for University of Exeter, Jackson’s second goal wrapped up the points for the visitors.
The other game in the Bottom 5 split league saw Beeston overcome Oxted 2-1 as goals from Eddie Harper and Gareth Griffiths cancelled out Alex Blumfield’s opener.
Premier Division ‘Top 6’
- East Grinstead 1-4 Hampstead & Westminster
- Old Georgians 8-2 Holcombe
- Wimbledon 5-5 Surbiton
- Oxted 1-2 Beeston
- University of Exeter 2-4 Brooklands MU
Division One North
The much-anticipated showdown between the top two sides ended in an emphatic victory for University of Nottingham as they defeated title rivals Loughborough Students 4-1, ending their unbeaten record in the process. That result means the winners have replaced Loughborough at the summit. Meanwhile, third-placed Cardiff & Met ran out comfortable 8-1 winners against Deeside Ramblers as Rhys Gowman struck four times and Bowdon romped to a 4-1 victory against Cambridge City. At the bottom, Sheffield Hallam and City of Peterborough both suffered defeats. Sheffield Hallam were beaten 2-1 by University of Birmingham while Olton & West Warwickshire defeated City of Peterborough 4-2.
- Bowdon 4-1 Cambridge City
- Deeside Ramblers 1-8 Cardiff & Met
- Loughborough Students 1-4 University of Nottingham
- Olton & West Warwickshire 4-2 City of Peterborough
- University of Birmingham 2-1 Sheffield Hallam
Division One South
Reading made it back-to-back wins with a 2-1 success over Sevenoaks to increase their advantage at the top of the division after title rivals Canterbury slipped up against Old Cranleighan, who triumphed 3-2 on Saturday thanks to a hat-trick from Muhammad Irfan. Third-placed Team Bath Buccaneers were also victorious, beating Brighton & Hove 4-1, while bottom side Havant were unable to avoid relegation despite winning 2-0 against Southgate. Havant needed to win and hope that Oxford Hawks lost to Teddington, but while they claimed just their second victory of the campaign, Hawks prevailed 2-1 to send them down.
- Brighton & Hove 1-4 Team Bath Buccaneers
- Canterbury 2-3 Old Cranleighan
- Havant 2-0 Southgate
- Oxford Hawks 2-1 Teddington
- Sevenoaks 1-2 Reading
Old Loughtonians remain the frontrunners in the Conference East division, extending their unbeaten run to six games with a 4-1 win over Indian Gymkhana. Their lead at the top is still five points as nearest challengers Richmond were also victorious, sealing a 2-1 triumph over London Wayfarers, while third-placed Spencer continued to keep pace with the top two with a thumping 6-2 win over London Edwardians. Elsewhere, Hampstead & Westminster 2s held Wapping to a 2-2 draw while West Herts claimed another important win in their bid to avoid the drop, beating fellow strugglers Bromley & Beckenham 4-1.
- Bromley & Beckenham 1-4 West Herts
- Old Loughtonians 4-1 Indian Gymkhana
- Richmond 2-1 London Wayfarers
- Spencer 6-2 London Edwardians
- Wapping 2-2 Hampstead & Westminster 2s
Santi Binaghi scored his 30th goal of the season as he bagged a hat-trick for league leaders Barford Tigers in their 4-1 win over Lichfield, which moves them a step closer to securing the Conference Midlands title. Second-placed Harborne now trail Tigers by six points after they slipped up against University of Birmingham 2s, losing 4-3 on the road. Meanwhile, Khalsa Leamington’s troubles continued as they went down 3-0 to Cambridge University, who also drew 1-1 with St Albans on Thursday night. St Albans followed up that draw with a 3-1 defeat to Harleston Magpies while Bedford eased to a 3-0 victory over Loughborough Town.
- Bedford 3-0 Loughborough Town
- Cambridge University 1-1 St Albans (Thursday)
- Khalsa Leamington 0-3 Cambridge University
- Lichfield 1-4 Barford Tigers
- St Albans 1-3 Harleston Magpies
- University of Birmingham 2s 4-3 Harborne
The race for the title has become even tighter in the Conference North division. League leaders Belper were held to a 2-2 draw by Preston as second-placed Timperley cut the gap to their title rivals to just two points with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Durham University 2s. Elsewhere, Doncaster celebrated a dominant 6-0 win over Didsbury Northern to move into third while Leeds also hit six past relegation-threatened Alderley Edge, prevailing 6-2 at home. It remains incredibly tight at the bottom, though, with Beeston 2s coming from a goal behind to claim a much-needed 2-1 win over Wakefield as they boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop.
- Didsbury Northern 0-6 Doncaster
- Durham University 2s 0-1 Timperley
- Leeds 6-2 Alderley Edge
- Preston 2-2 Belper
- Wakefield 1-2 Beeston 2s
University of Bristol continue to lead the way in the Conference West, securing a 1-0 win over Clifton Robinsons on Friday night to maintain their place at the summit. Second-placed Isca managed to keep the pressure on the title favourites with a 4-1 win at Cardiff University, while Fareham also remain very much in the hunt after defeating bottom side Cheltenham 1-0. Fellow strugglers Plymouth Marjon were beaten 6-2 by University of Exeter, while Chichester edged out Ashmoor in a tight contest, eventually prevailing 3-2.
- Ashmoor 2-3 Chichester
- Cardiff University 1-4 Isca
- Fareham 1-0 Cheltenham
- University of Bristol 1-0 Clifton Robinsons
- University of Exeter 2s 6-2 Plymouth Marjon