[img_assist|nid=6187|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=100]ENGLAND, February 25 – Beeston became the first team to be guaranteed a top-four finish in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division after two emphatic wins over the weekend left them 15 points clear at the top.
After knocking six past East Grinstead on Saturday, they went on to beat Loughborough Students 7-4 on Sunday thereby guaranteeing themselves a play in the end of season play-offs.
After going one down after five minutes, Beeston were soon back on level terms through a Carl Smith goal and a frantic shootout ensued with Beeston having too much firepower for their rivals.
Simon Egerton went on to score a brace meaning that he has now reached 20 goals for the season. Carl Smith and Adam Dixon also scored two each.
Beneath Beeston, the table is much tighter with only four points separating second and seventh places. However, Reading currently hold second spot and their 8-1 win over third placed Canterbury underlined their strength. Craig Peel led the scoring with a hat-trick.
Canterbury still hold third place despite that defeat but are looking over their shoulders at Cannock, Surbiton, East Grinstead and Loughborough Students who could all catch them with one win.
Cannock managed to scrape a 2-2 draw against Surbiton after Dan Coultas fired in from a penalty corner with just two minutes left on the clock.
East Grinstead ground out a 1-0 win over Hampstead & Westminster after Mark Pearn slotted in the winner. Ashley Jackson had the chance to double the advantage with a penalty stroke but he found Ian Scandon in fine form with the keeper making a save.
At the bottom of the league, Brooklands MU find themselves four points adrift after losing to fellow strugglers Southgate.
Bowdon are back on top of the Conference North after a thrilling 4-3 win over Olton and West Warwickshire.
Wimbledon still hold top spot in the Conference East despite a shock 1-0 loss to Indian Gymkhana. Holcombe are level on points.
Finally, in the Conference West, Guildford took secured their play-off place with a 5-3 win over Bristol Firebrands.
Men’s Hockey League (February 23 2013):
Premier Division: East Grinstead 1, Beeston 5; Canterbury 1, Reading 8.
Conference East: Teddington 5, Oxted 5.
Conference North: Sheffield Hallam 4, Leek 1.
Men’s Hockey League (February 24 2013):
Premier Division: Brooklands MU 2, Southgate 4; Beeston 7, Loughborough Students 4; East Grinstead 1, Hampstead and Westminster 0; Cannock 2, Surbiton 2.
Conference East: Cambridge City 4, Richmond 0; City of Peterborough 3, Holcombe 1; Bromley and Beckenham 2, Old Loughtonians 2; Wimbledon 0, Indian Gymkhana 1.
Conference North: Belper 1, Khalsa 2; Doncaster 5, Preston 1; Bowdon 4, Olton and West Warwickshire 3.
Conference West: Guildford 5, Bristol Firebrands 3; Team Bath Buccaneers 3, University of Exeter 3; Cheltenham 1, Havant 5; Whitchurch 1, University of Birmingham 1; Fareham 1, Cardiff and UWIC 5.