Photo credit: Debbie Christopher (Twitter: @debbiechris33)
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Wimbledon continued their winning streak in the Men’s Premier Division with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over fellow high-flyers Old Georgians.
Old Georgians entered the weekend top of the table on goal difference but Wimbledon handed them a first defeat of the season to make it six victories on the spin since their opening-day defeat to Hampstead & Westminster.
Ed Horler fired the Dons into the lead on 17 minutes and they eventually sealed the deal a minute from time when Mikey Hoare netted from a penalty corner.
Old Georgians and Surbiton have been trading top spot between them over the past few weeks and the south-west London side took advantage of their rivals’ slip up to climb back to the summit with a convincing victory over University of Exeter.
The university side are still seeking their first point this season and were outclassed 7-0 by the new leaders as Luke Taylor netted a brilliant hat-trick.
There were also two goals apiece from Ben Park and Rob Farrington as the hosts made it a magnificent seven.
East Grinstead are also still looking for a first win as they went down 2-1 away to Holcombe – Nick Bandurak scoring a penalty stroke and former Great Britain captain Barry Middleton netting for the hosts either side of Jamie Wallace’s goal.
A five-goal thriller went the way of University of Durham as they edged past Beeston 3-2 to jump above their opponents in the table.
Henry Croft opened the scoring for Beeston on four minutes before Max Garner levelled and Christian DeAngelis tapped in just before half-time to turn things round.
With just four minutes remaining, Sam Apoola drew Beeston level but there was still time for Raunaq Rai to bury a reverse and snatch all three points for the students.
The final game in the division between Brooklands MU and Hampstead & Westminster was postponed due to travel issues for the London side.
Division One North
Perhaps the most eagerly-anticipated fixture of the weekend came in Division One North as the 100 per cent records of Loughborough Students and University of Nottingham went head to head. Something had to give and it was Loughborough who earned bragging rights with a 4-0 victory over their East Midlands rivals. They move top of the table on their own with 18 points, while Cardiff & Met kept their unbeaten record alive by hammering Deeside Ramblers 5-0 to sit second in the table, two points behind the Students. 5-0 was also the scoreline as Olton & West Warwicks beat winless City of Peterborough, Bowdon impressively downed Cambridge City 5-1 and Sheffield Hallam and University of Birmingham were both denied an opportunity for a first victory of the campaign as their clash was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Division One South
Reading’s dominance of Division One South continued in earnest as they beat Sevenoaks, although the result was relatively restrained by their standard – a 2-0 triumph with both goals coming in the second half. It takes their tally to six wins and 31 goals from their six matches and they already have a seven-point lead atop the table after nearest challengers Canterbury could only draw 2-2 at Old Cranleighan. Team Bath Buccaneers are now third after an impressive 3-1 win over Brighton & Hove, Havant’s wait for a first point of the season continues after going down 3-0 to Southgate and Oxford Hawks soared to a 2-1 victory at Teddington.
Conference East leaders Old Loughtonians maintained their place at the top of the table with a convincing 4-1 win away at Indian Gymkhana. Second-placed London Edwardians suffered a surprise 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Spencer and Richmond leapfrogged them after a 2-2 draw with fourth-placed London Wayfarers. Elsewhere, Hampstead & Westminster 2s battled past Wapping 2-1 and West Herts won a thriller against Bromley & Beckenham 3-2.
Harborne and Barford Tigers both kept their unbeaten streaks alive in the Conference Midlands but the former are now two points clear of their rivals in the table after the Tigers were held to a 2-2 draw by Lichfield. Harborne had no such problems as they crushed University of Birmingham 2s 6-0 and St Albans were similarly dominant when grounding Harleston Magpies 4-0. Cambridge University grabbed a first win of the campaign by beating Khalsa Leamington 4-2, while Ryan Day’s hat-trick helped Loughborough Town edge Bedford 3-2.
One team in the Conference North will be feeling gr-eight after a huge victory over the weekend. Connor Miller scored five in Timperley’s 8-1 thrashing of University of Durham 2s, while leaders Belper stayed top of the pile by beating Preston 3-2 . Timperley go second in the table after Didsbury Northern conceded a last-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Doncaster, as Leeds won the cross-Pennine encounter with Alderley Edge 3-1 and Wakefield triumphed 2-0 at Beeston 2s.
Goals were the order of the day in the Conference West, with a mammoth 28 scored across the five matches. Ten of those came in the Cheltenham v Fareham contests with Fareham emerging 6-4 victors to leave their hosts still pointless at the bottom of the table. University of Exeter 2s also remain without a win but now have four draws in six matches after ending 2-2 with Plymouth Marjon. At the top, University of Bristol move to the summit after winning their local derby with Clifton Robinsons 2-1, while former leaders Isca slipped up in a 4-3 loss to Cardiff University and Ashmoor’s four-game winning streak was ended by Chichester 3-1.