HOCKEY : Cannock facing double trouble

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The Independent Online


Cannock are none too happy with this weekend's double header. Missing the Scottish junior, Jon Christie, who has gone north for a training weekend, they visit Kidderminster this afternoon for a rearranged National League game against Stourport, then travel to Exeter for tomorrow's cup quarter- final against Isca.

Reflecting on previous double headers when they have faltered on the Sunday, the president, Alan Mayer, said: "We are not good at two games although we accept that it has to be - but it is hardly level ground at Isca, who are not playing on Saturday." Even so, Cannock, riding high in the First Division, should be too strong for their Second Division opponents.

The cup battle between Southgate and Teddington should attract a large crowd to Broomfield School. When the teams met in the league in September, Teddington edged home 4-3 in a thriller, but for tomorrow's game they will be without their two influential forwards.

Jon Hack has been missing since breaking a leg just before Christmas and now Peter Gibbons is out with a hamstring injury. The cup holders and league leaders may find an in-form Southgate too much for them.

In the other two cup games, Richmond, who have been undefeated since Rory Mitchell took over as coach from Mike Spray at Christmas, should go into the semi-finals at the expense of non-National League Formby, and Guildford, in second place in the First Division, should account for the Second Division's second-placed club, Barford Tigers.

Whitchurch, in spite of agreement between the Welsh and English Hockey Associations to rearrange tomorrow's National League home game against Bromley, have declined and decided to go into tomorrow's Welsh Cup final against Llanishen and Llandaff with their second XI. With a place in Europe for the winners, this is a surprising decision.