Nicol sets up solid start for Surbiton

Greg Nicol, Surbiton's South African striker, notched four goals for the second successive week as the Surrey side opened their Premiership campaign with a 6-1 victory against Old Loughtonians. Surbiton never looked back after a sixth-minute goal from Scotland's James Burns. Stuart Humphries completed the scoring. Old Loughtonians' task was not helped by two temporary suspensions and a missed penalty stroke from Nicky Thompson, who had earlier scored their goal.

Greg Nicol, Surbiton's South African striker, notched four goals for the second successive week as the Surrey side opened their Premiership campaign with a 6-1 victory against Old Loughtonians. Surbiton never looked back after a sixth-minute goal from Scotland's James Burns. Stuart Humphries completed the scoring. Old Loughtonians' task was not helped by two temporary suspensions and a missed penalty stroke from Nicky Thompson, who had earlier scored their goal.

Reading made light of the absence of their three Olympians with a 3-1 win against Bournville Birmingham University thanks to goals from the New Zealander Ken Robinson, Jonty Clarke and Ben Barnes.

Canterbury, last season's League winners, were off to a good start with a 2-0 home win against Guildford, with last season's leading League goalscorer David Mathews opening their account and Simon Ramsden claiming the second.

It was a bleak introduction to the Premiership Divisions for Loughborough Students. The women were beaten 3-2 by Ipswich on Saturday, while the men went down 2-1 at Teddington yesterday.

Another South African, Craig Carolan, scored twice for newly promoted Hampstead and Westminster as they beat Brooklands 2-0 to go top of the First Division, while a hat-trick from Ian Hammond saw St Albans head the Second Divisionthrough with a 4-2 win over Oxford University.

EHL MEN'S Premier (Yesterday): Canterbury 2 Guildford 0; Reading 3 Bournville Birmingham Univ 1; Surbiton 6 Old Loughtonians 1; Teddington 2 Loughborough Students 1. First Division: Chelmsford 4 Lewes 2; East Grinstead 1 Doncaster 2; Hampstead & Westminster 2 Brooklands 0; Indian Gymkhana 2 Beeston 3; Stourport 1 Barford Tigers 1. Second Division: Firebrands 4 Peterborough Town 1; Harleston Magpies 2 Formby 0; Hounslow & Ealing 2 Bromley 4; Nottingham 2 Ipswich 4; Oxford Hawks 0 Havant 1; St Albans 4 Oxford Univ 2.

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