Hockey: Bottom clubs to do battle

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The Independent Online
Tomorrow's National League fixtures have been kind to the clubs at the top and for once there is unlikely to be very much change in the leading positions, but it is the battling of Barford Tigers, Hounslow and Surbiton at the bottom which is the centre of interest, writes Bill Colwill.

With Havant's relegation almost certain - they are currently 11 points adrift of Surbiton - it seems merely a question of who will join them.

Surbiton are at home to Teddington, who with the return of Jason Laslett and the arrival of Nick Conway just before Christmas, are riding high in third place. Although Surbiton announce a full squad for the first time in several weeks, it would be something of a miracle if they were to stop Teddington.

Hounslow, with an unchanged squad, entertain fifth-placed Old Loughtonians, who have Julian Halls back after injury. The Old Boys, smarting after last week's 5-1 thrashing by Canterbury and still in with an outside title chance, are unlikely to give Hounslow's hopes a boost.

Barford Tigers' chance of points will not be good against visiting Guildford, who rattled in eight against Hounslow last Sunday.

Oxford University, struggling to stave off relegation from the First Division, have taken the unprecedented step of recalling past student and German Under-21 international Henning Tewes for the visit of Stourport.

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