Saturday, December 2, 2023

England Hockey round-up: University of Nottingham make hay in debut season

The makeup of the top eight league finals were realised over the weekend across the men’s and women’s Premier Divisions, with University of Nottingham making gains in their first season in the top flight.

Fighting to secure the two spots available to move up from the Lower 6 league, University of Nottingham, whose coach Matt Taylor started his tenure five leagues below the Premier Division only six years ago, and University of Birmingham won through to the top league in Phase 3 in the Vitality Women’s Premier Division.

Nottingham were in fine form as they cast aside Buckingham 4-0, while Birmingham edged out Reading 3-2.

In Phase 2 Top 6, Surbion and Wimbledon finished the regualr season with one defeat to their names.

Brett Garrard’s side scored 11 goals across their double header weekend, including a 8-2 trouncing of East Grinstead on Saturday.

In the men’s top flight, Oxted and Beeston secured their passage to the men’s Phase 3 and now have a chance of progressing to Finals Day.

East Grinstead were unable to secure the two-goal win they needed to overturn Beeston in a 2-2 draw, while rivals Oxted beat University of Nottingham 3-1.

Old Georgians finished the regular season with a 3-1 victory over Wimbledon, while Surbiton were in scoring mood following a 4-0 win at Reading.

Old Georgians finished unbeaten from 16 matches, with just one draw, and eight points ahead of Surbiton.

The League Finals will see clubs divided into two groups of four. The top two will advance to the semi-finals at Surbiton in early April where the men’s and women’s domestic champions will be known.

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