Hockey: Hampstead pull plum home draw

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The Independent Online
HAMPSTEAD were drawn yesterday to play East Grinstead at home in the quarter-finals of the Royal Bank of Scotland Hockey Association Cup to the delight of the London club's captain, Kevin Gallen.

'Definitely Hampstead's biggest ever challenge and don't rule us out on the day,' the New Zealander said of the match.

Gallen scored all three goals in the 3-0 win against Northampton Saints on Sunday that put Hampstead into the last eight for the first time as the only survivor from outside the National League. 'It will be an honour to play against East Grinstead and I am confident we can raise our game for the occasion,' Gallen added. 'Pitch, crowd and motivation will be in our favour and for many of our players it will be a game in a lifetime.'

On form, East Grinstead, who won the cup in 1984, should go through to the semi-finals but they are a side whose problem this season has been consistency and they will not relish a visit to the water- based artificial pitch at Paddington Recreation Ground.

The holders Hounslow, who remain on course for the first league and cup double, travel to Cannock, who are in the lower reaches of the First Division, and will be confident of extending their cup run to 16 victories, since being beaten by Stourport in December 1989.

Last season's beaten finalists, Teddington, will be less confident when making the short journey to face Second Division Guildford, who have already accounted for two First Division scalps. Guildford will be hoping that their sweeper, Richard Charlesworth, who broke a hand in Sunday's game against Stourport, will have recovered in time to face the Middlesex club.

Reading, blessed with their fourth successive home tie, should carry the Second Division flag into the semi-finals but will find the young Beeston side, who on Sunday accounted for the four-times cup winners Slough, quite a handful. ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND HA CUP Quarter-final draw: Hampstead & Westminster v East Grinstead; Reading v Beeston; Guildford v Teddington; Cannock v Hounslow. Matches to be played on Saturday 6 February.