Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Top tier club hockey and country clash on same day, at same venue

England Hockey bill it as “showcasing domestic and international games together” when the national cup finals are played around the FIH Pro League games at Lee Valley over the next two weekends.

Yet, the scheduling means that several of the England men’s squad who also play for Old Georgians will be missing out on their club’s chance of the domestic top tier double next weekend.

How often, one wonders, do other sports hold club and country matches on the same day, at the same venue?

Sure, there is certainly value in placing matches around the Pro League day, adding to the occasion and selling extra tickets, but to schedule the Tier 1 finals only adds fuel to the debate that the club game needs aligning alongside the international focus.

In the women’s Tier 1 Championship (EH Cup) final on Saturday, Vitality Women’s Premier Division teams Buckingham and Beeston, current champions, meet at 6pm.

The Tier 4 final between Kent’s Knole Park 2nd XI and Golborne, from the North West, is to be played earlier in the day at 10am.

On Sunday, The Army take on Nottingham Trent University in the Tier 3 final at 9am and the last game of the day at 16:30 sees the Tier 2 final between Repton and Liverpool Sefton.

The following weekend sees the men’s finals played alongside England men against South Africa and the women against Spain.

On Saturday 28 May, Penzance take on Nottingham University 5s in the Tier 4 final at 9am. Following the Pro League games, the Tier 1 final will feature Men’s EHL champions Old Georgians against Oxted.

Sunday 29 May starts at 9am with the Tier 3 final between Repton and Nottingham Trent University. The last game of the day is the Tier 2 final at 4:30pm with Banbury taking on the winners of the East Grinstead 2s vs Jersey match this weekend.

Saturday 21

10:00 Knole Park 2nd XI v Golborne – Women’s Tier 4 Final
13:00 England v France (Men)
15:30 England v China (Women)
18:00 Buckingham v Beeston – Women’s Tier 1 Final

Sunday 22

09:00 Army v Nottingham Trent– Women’s Tier 3 Final
12:00 England v France (Men)
14:30 England v China (Women)
16:30 Repton v Liverpool Sefton – Women’s Tier 2 Final

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