Hockey: Teddington can run Chelmsford close

With the restructuring of the national leagues, along with automatic promotion from the regional leagues, there are going to be a string of tight games until the end of the season.

With the restructuring of the national leagues, along with automatic promotion from the regional leagues, there are going to be a string of tight games until the end of the season.

None perhaps more than the game between Teddington and Chelmsford, which may look like a mis-match on paper, but is likely to be a lot closer in reality.

Chelmsford will arrive at Chiswick on the back of an unbeaten run of six games. Teddington, the only ever-present team in the top division, had endured a torrid season until the return of Jason Laslett two weeks ago, which signalled victories against Canterbury and St Albans.

Teddington's improvement since the mid-season break, which also coincided with the appointment of Jason Nation as their player/coach, the return of Malaysia international Chua Boon Huat and the signings of Luke Hodges and Mike Williamson, has been notable. It could be a close call.

In the regional leagues, any of six clubs could claim the promotion spot in the Midlands, with Lichfield leading the way.

In South Division Two, Brighton, Sevenoaks and Chichester - who are all on 47 points - are 15 points ahead of the pack. Sevenoaks captain Tim Smith managed to persuade Jason Lee, the England coach, to play last week and he responded with a couple of goals in a 7-1 victory over Staines.

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