[img_assist|nid=8648|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=40]Beeston survived a late Canterbury comeback to retain top spot in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday.
They looked like having it all their own way after goals from Stuart Pilgrim, Adam Dixon and Sam Ward saw them three up and cruising after 37 minutes.
But with three minutes left Thomas Richford and Michael Farrer pulled two back for Canterbury, setting up a tense finale. However Beeston held their nerve and won 3-2.
Having beaten Sheffield Hallam on Saturday Beeston are back at the top of the table having won their game in hand, and now have a 100 per cent record.
Hampstead and Westminster became the latest team to be put to the sword by Reading, who ran out 11-1 winners.
Jonty Clarke, Chris Cargo, Andy Watts and Chris Newman all bagged a brace with the other goals coming from Nick Caitlin, Tom Carson and Simon Mantell. Duncan Parnis scored a consolation goal for Hampstead in the 64th minute.
For second-placed East Grinstead, their game against Wimbledon proved to be a tough one with Wimbledon’s Phil Ball a constant thorn in their side.
Ball hit a hat-trick to make sure East Grinstead could never rest on their laurels. But the visitors had too much firepower as braces from Mark Gleghorne and Mark Pearn, along with an own goal, saw East Grinstead win 5-3.
Surbiton clinched a 5-0 victory over bottom of the table Loughborough Students with goals being scored by Matt Daly, Alan Forsyth, James Tindall, James Royce and Rob Schilling.
In the other game in the Premier Division, Cannock and Sheffield Hallam battled to a 2-2 draw in a match that was marred by two red cards being issued.
Dave Beckett opened the scoring for Cannock on 12 minutes and Peter Jackson soon added a second. But a Gareth Furlong strike and an own goal saw Hallam draw level before they had Gavin Byers sent off. Goal hero Beckett joined him after picking up a second booking with two minutes to go.
Holcombe held Conference East leaders Southgate to a thrilling 4-4 draw. A brace from Giulio Ferrini, as well as goals from Nick Page and Andrew Westbrook made up the four for Southgate and the scorers for Holcombe were Gareth Carr with two and one apiece from Danny Hall and David Appleton.
Bowdon went level on points with table-topping University of Durham in the Conference North with a 4-1 win over Leek. And a hat-trick from Michael Deller-Merricks saw Havant win 5-0 as they gained ground on Conference West leaders Cardiff.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, October 20 2013):
NOW: Pensions Men’s Premier Division: Beeston 3, Canterbury 2; Cannock 2, Sheffield Hallam 2; Loughborough Students 0, Surbiton 5; Reading 11, Hampstead and Westminster 1; Wimbledon 3, East Grinstead 5.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Conference East : Cambridge City 4, Brighton and Hove 3; Old Loughtonians 4, Oxted 1; Richmond 5, St. Albans 0; Southgate 4, Holcombe 4; Teddington 5, Bromley and Beckenham 1.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Conference North: Belper 6, West Bridgford 0; Bowdon 4, Leek 1; Deeside Ramblers 1, Wakefield 6; Olton & West Warwicks 1, Brooklands MU 6; University of Durham 3, Khalsa (Warks) 3.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Conference West: Cardiff & Met 4, Guildford 2; Cheltenham 4, Isca 2; Havant 5, University of Birmingham 0; Team Bath Buccaneers 7, Fareham 5; University of Exeter 3, Indian Gymkhana 4.