Hockey: Havant more than happy to be home for the weekend: Domestic bliss for league's big boys as juniors prepare to challenge them in the third round of the HA Cup tomorrow

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The Independent Online
CHRIS PICKETT, Havant's manager, was a happy man with the thought of two home fixtures this weekend, together with the return of the penalty-corner specialist Rob Hill and the internationals Don Williams and Peter Nail, absent with the England indoor squad last weekend. Matthew Cross is still out with a calf strain.

'Absolutely delighted to be at home both days, particularly after last week's trip to Welton where vandals broke into our coach and stole and burnt a new set of kit and we had a seven-and-a-half-hour trip home,' Pickett said.

Today Havant entertain East Grinstead in the PizzaExpress National League and tomorrow welcome Hereford, from the SunLife West League, as the Junior clubs join the National League teams in the third round of the HA Cup.

Luck has favoured the big boys, with 11 of the National League sides having double home fixtures. But not so for the double champions Hounslow, who, after their league game this afternoon against Stourport, travel to the Wirral to play Neston tomorrow. Hounslow will be alive to the fact that in the past two seasons Stourport have been the only side to beat them in league or cup competitions.

Hounslow will be relieved to hear that the Olympic gold medallist Imran Sherwani will be missing tomorrow, as his wife is expecting their second child.

Sunday's game at Neston will be no easy affair. Although Neston were relegated at the end of last season there will be a lot of family pride at stake. Hounslow's international striker, Bob Crutchley, returns to pit his skills against his older brothers Andy and Sam.

Slough expect to have the former captain Chris Maskery back after injury for their trip to Southgate, who will be pleased to welcome back their captain John Shaw and Soma Singh from international duty.

Teddington have Phil McGuire and Jason Laslett back for their games against Indian Gymkhana today, and tomorrow against Second Division Guildford, who took them to penalty strokes in the quarter-final last year.

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