THE top two sides in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division played out a thrilling 3-3 draw as Surbiton hosted East Grinstead on Saturday.
East Grinstead got the upper hand early on with Simon Faulkner crashing home and Mark Pearn doubling the lead on 33 minutes.
Alan Forsyth pulled one back for Surbiton on the stroke of half time and Matt Daly made it 2-2 just after the restart.
Daly looked to have won the game and sent Surbiton top when he tucked away his second with only three minutes remaining but David Condon popped up to level the scores for East Grinstead in the dying seconds.
Wimbledon were comfortable winners away from home, beating Brooklands Manchester University 4-1. Ali Brogdon got the visitors off to a perfect start, scoring inside the first minute before doubling the lead just seven minutes later.
Paul Spies scored twice as Beeston kept in touch with the top two sides with a 2-1 victory over Southgate.
Rick Gay scored a consolation goal for Southgate in the second half and they remain one point above the relegation places.
There was only one game played in the league on Sunday with Canterbury remaining rooted to the foot of the table after losing 2-1 to Hampstead and Westminster. Matthew Botha scored a brace for the victors.
NOW: Pensions Men’s Cup
NOW: Pensions Premier Division side Brooklands Manchester University narrowly avoided an upset in the quarter-final of the cup on Sunday, beating Conference East Side Chichester Priory Park 5-4 in a shootout.
Chichester were quickest out of the blocks and raced into a 3-0 lead by the break with a brace from Martin Gough adding to Richard Blakesley’s ninth-minute opener.
But a Peter Flanagan double, followed by an Aidan Khares stroke six minutes from time levelled the scores and they went on to dispatch their plucky opponents.
Surbiton and Beeston are second and third respectively in the NOW: Pensions Premier Division and with just three points between them, many expected a close tie in the cup. It proved to be the case and as the final whistle blew, the score stood at 2-2. The shootout went to sudden death and it was Alan Forsyth, who scored both of Surbiton’s goals in normal time, who hit the winning shot.
Reading who ensured a safe passage into the semi-finals after a narrow 1-0 win at Southgate. Jack Whelan’s first half strike was the only difference between the sides as Reading, fifth in the NOW: Pensions Premier Division standings, secured a last-four berth.
Cannock survived a scare at home to Conference North side Sheffield Hallam, before eventually sealing a 3-1 win. Sheffield went ahead through James Gunthorpe’s 11th minute goal and held on to their lead until just before half-time, when Cannock’s Nick Bandurak restored parity. Tom Morris then gave the hosts a 2-1 lead before Mark Daniel’s late strike made sure of the result.
NOW: Pensions Conference West
Cardiff and Met took an overnight lead in the NOW: Pensions Conference West after securing a 1-0 victory over Guildford courtesy of a James Carson strike.
Team Bath Buccaneers moved back to the top of the table on Sunday with a 3-1 defeat of Cheltenham and Cardiff’s game against University of Exeter was postponed.
Shakeel Abbasi hit a hat-trick as Barford Tigers beat Whitchurch 3-0 and Indian Gymkhana played out a 3-3 draw with Guildford. University of Birmingham and Fareham also drew, the game ending 2-2. Daniel Sampey scored both of Fareham’s goals to earn them a point.
NOW: Pensions Conference North
There was just one game on Saturday in the NOW: Pensions Conference North on Saturday and it was a tasty South Yorkshire derby between Sheffield Hallam and Doncaster.
It was Doncaster that came away with bragging rights as a Joe Morrison double helped them to a 4-1 win over their rivals.
On the Sunday, Luke Taylor and Kevin Ross both scored hat-tricks as Loughborough Students beat Deeside Ramblers 7-3.
Greg Moorhouse also scored three as Wakefield beat Belper 6-1 and Olton and West Warwicks beat University of Durham 4-2. Bowdon still lead the league and ran out 4-0 winners against Leek.
NOW: Pensions Conference East
Holcombe smashed ten goals past Chichester Priory Park in their 10-1 Conference East victory on Saturday, with James Kitcherside hitting four of them while Stefan Vehrle-Smith added two.
Bromley and Beckenham got the better of Brighton and Hove with a single James Batten proving to be enough to take a 1-0 win.
On Sunday, Old Loughtonians aided their survival hopes as they came from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw at West Herts.
Robbert Schenk scored twice as Oxted overcame Richmond 3-2, while Teddington moved off the bottom of the table after an entertaining 3-3 draw with Cambridge City.
* Photo shows Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth evading East Grinstead goalkeeper Patrick Smith. Credit www.hockeyimages.co.uk