Hockey: Cannock can bounce back

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The Independent Online
Cannock, the Premier League leaders, who last Sunday suffered an enormous blow to their hopes for the season when they were thrashed 6-1 by Canterbury, have home games this weekend against Guildford (League) today and Old Loughtonians (Cup) tomorrow to get their season back on course. The highly talented Staffordshire side should win both.

The Cup holders, Teddington, no longer interested in this year's Cup competition, play the League Champions, Reading, at Reeds School this afternoon and will also be looking to return to winning form. Their defence has been shipping too many goals this season and although last week it looked much improved at times against Old Loughtonians, they still went down 4-3.

The return of the St George's schoolboy and England Under-21 midfielder, Danny Hayden, should boost their chances, as might their mid-week indoor 8-1 win against Maidenhead in the South Qualifier.

Southgate, who in spite of their defeat at Reading last weekend cling on to second place above the Berkshire side and East Grinstead on goal difference, will be without their first choice goalkeepers when they entertain Old Loughtonians today and for their Cup trip to Nottingham to play Beeston tomorrow. Giles Cadman is injured and the South African Gregor Maier has departed for his country's trip to Argentina.

Chelmsford and Surbiton are more fortunate with their key South Africans, who play today before flying to Argentina.

Old Cranleighans or Spalding will break new ground after their fifth round EHA Cup encounter tomorrow at Thames Ditton with the winners going into the quarter-finals for the first time. The odds will favour the Old Boys, who have already passed the half-century of goals in their eight League games this season and lead the ESL Hampshire/Surrey League by six points.

l Stellenbosch University, South Africa's current Women's National League Champions, start a four-match tour tomorrow at Witney.

- Bill Colwill