Nicol hits six in Surbiton stroll

Greg Nicol, Surbiton's South African striker, led the way with six goals in an afternoon of high scoring as the Surrey club coasted to a 7-1 victory away at Bournville to retain their position at the top of the Premier Division.

Greg Nicol, Surbiton's South African striker, led the way with six goals in an afternoon of high scoring as the Surrey club coasted to a 7-1 victory away at Bournville to retain their position at the top of the Premier Division.

Surbiton's afternoon had started disastrously; after only 40 seconds their captain, Martin Dye, departed for hospital with a double fractured cheekbone following a collision with Bournville's Chris Graham.

After Nicol scored the opening goal in the ninth minute, though, there was no looking back and the goals flowed. James Webber joined Nicol on the score sheet for Surbiton's seventh. Chris Kent scored Bournville's consolation with just three minutes remaining.

With rumours rife that the Premier League clubs will meet this week because of their dissatisfaction with directives emerging from hockey's headquarters - one of which, no doubt, is the banning of Olympic players for the first five weeks of the season - the two clubs most affected, Cannock and Reading, met yesterday.

Both had three players missing as Cannock won a key fixture at the Morris Ground 2-0 thanks to first-half goals from Simon Organ and Martin Jones. Cannock had pulled themselves together after going down 3-4 against Southgate on Saturday, in spite of two brilliantly taken goals by Jones.

Hampstead moved three points clear at the top of Division One with a 3-1 win over Chelmsford, while the going is tough at the top of Division Two with St Albans, Firebrands and Havant all on maximum points. St Albans, 5-0 winners away to Peterborough Town, lead the way on goal difference.

Second-placed Firebrands' routed Harleston Magpies 7-0, while newcomers Nottingham beat Bromley 4-1.

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