Sunday, April 21, 2024

What can we expect from the EHL Premier Division during 2024? 

The Premier Division is the top level of the EHL and consists of 12 sides that compete to make it to League Finals Weekend. The team that ultimately comes out on top will be league champion and qualifies for the Euro Hockey League. 

Fans of UK hockey can experience top-class action in the EHL Premier Division, and this is true for the ongoing competition in phase 2 of the 2023/24 season. This sees the lower and top six now battling it out in their bid to clinch the championship. But what can fans expect next in 2024?

What will happen during 2024 in the EHL Premier Division Top Six? 

The opening few games of phase 2 in the top six have thrown up some high-scoring affairs and given us a glimpse of how the division’s top sides might do as 2024 progresses. 

One thing you can say with a certain amount of certainty is that Old Georgians look set to make a real go of defending their league title from 2022/23. This is reflected when you look at the odds being given by betUK online as they show Old Georgians as favourites to reign supreme again.

The support for the side is easy to see when you look at a few of their previous results in phase 2. A 4-2 win over Surbiton on 17 February combined with a 3-2 victory over Holcombe the week before means they have carried on where they left off. With the talents of James Carson, Alan Forsyth, and Sam Ward to call on, though, this is not surprising.

As they showed with an excellent season before the winter break, Surbiton are also a side that should be at League Finals Weekend in 2024. Although Surbiton’s game against Old Georgians recently saw them lose, a 4-0 thrashing of Southgate before this was more in line with how their campaign has gone so far. 

What will 2024 hold for the rest of the EHL Premier Division Top Six? 

Of the other teams in the top six, Holcombe look serious contenders to do well and make it to finals weekend. They have run riot at times this season with some massive wins (12-1 over the University of Nottingham, for example) and have some of the Premier Division’s best players, such as Alex Pendle, Nick Bandurak and Phil Roper, to call on. 

Wimbledon may also carry their form on from earlier in the season to make a real go at challenging for the title, but both Hampstead & Westminster and Southgate may struggle. Newcomers Southgate, for example, have lost their opening two games post-break and look to be playing at a level above their capabilities. 

What might happen in the EHL Premier Division Phase 2 Lower Six during 2024? 

The opening couple of results in the EHL Premier Division Phase 2 Lower Six suggest that the teams involved are closely matched. The side to expect most from in this half during phase 2 might be Oxted. 

Although a draw against the University of Nottingham was underwhelming in the first game of phase 2, a 3-2 win over Cardiff more recently was more like it. The attacking prowess of Guy Morgan will be crucial for their hopes of glory. 

Beeston are another side in the lower six of phase 2 that might do well in 2024. They made it to the final last season and perhaps would have been tipped to do better in 2023-24 so far. The goals of Henry Croft will be key for them in 2024, as will the leadership of captain Gareth Griffiths. 

Rest of EHL Premier Division Lower Six may struggle 

The other sides in the lower six inspire a little less confidence of making it to League Finals Weekend in April. The University of Nottingham suffered a wretched season before the winter break and did not record a single win. Although they have come back rejuvenated in phase 2, with a draw at Oxted and win over Reading, you cannot see them making a serious bid for the title. 

Cardiff also had a phase 1 campaign to forget and have carried this on into phase 2 with two losses to date. With neither East Grinstead or Reading looking likely to surge up the table in 2024, it seems Oxted and Beeston may do best.

EHL Premier Division Phase 2 in 2024 set to thrill 

There is no doubt that both the lower and top six of the EHL Premier Division are set to give hockey fans some great moments to enjoy on the way to League Finals Weekend. With Old Georgians looking to be in awesome form still, you’ll find it hard to identify another team that could take their crown come April. 

Total Hockey

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