Beeston take advantage of Surbiton travails at the top in England




The battle for play-off places was blown wide open in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division as long-time leaders Surbiton lost twice, allowing Beeston to move top.

In a dramatic turn of events, Hampstead & Westminster scored three goals in the final three minutes of their game against Surbiton to take a 5-4 win at home on Sunday.

Kwan Browne opened the scoring for Hampstead from the penalty spot on 12 minutes before Surbiton pulled one back through Luke Taylor and then took the lead through Chris Grassick.

Matt Guise Brown levelled the scores for Hampstead just two minutes later before Alan Forsyth scored twice to give Surbiton a 4-2 lead.

With three minutes remaining Surbiton looked home and dry, but Kwan Browne tucked home his second stroke of the game on 68 minutes and a quick-fire double from Guise Brown saw him complete his hat-trick and claim three points for Hampstead.

This followed another loss for Surbiton on Saturday when a Richard Mantell hat-trick condemned them to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Reading, with Alan Forsyth scoring the consolation.

Surbiton, having lost several players on international duty with England at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, are now second while Reading and Wimbledon are both just two points behind with a game in hand.

Beeston went top after a 3-1 win over Sevenoaks with Richard Lawrence, Marius Gemmell and Chris Proctor all on target.

Reading made the most of their two games in two days. After their win over Surbiton on Saturday they went on to beat East Grinstead 7-3 on Sunday.

Tom Carson scored a hat-trick, while Ben Boon, James Carson, Owain Dolan Gray and Richard Mantell were on target, while Wesley Jackson, Simon Faulkner and Tony Wilson found the net for East Grinstead.

Simon Mantell’s goal kept Wimbledon in the hunt for a play-off berth in their 1-0 win against Holcombe.

Brooklands MU ensured their place in the top flight next season as they put six past Canterbury. Pete Cornell hit a brace with David Flanagan, Tom Russell, Oliver Clarke and Tom Lush also scoring.