Hockey: Old Boys ready for Reading

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The Independent Online
This afternoon's Hockey Association Cup quarter-final game at Chigwell will be a repeat of last season's Cup final in which Reading, after a 2-2 draw with Old Loughtonians, took the trophy after penalty strokes.

Several of the key players in that final will be missing. However, the competition is likely to be equally fierce, particularly in the light of Reading's National League championship success last weekend.

The Old Boys will be without two of their three Great Britain Olympic players and a third, Nick Thompson, just back after a groin injury, is likely to play for only part of the game. Julian Halls is out following a recent operation on his wrist ligaments and Jason Lee is coaching and playing in Australia.

Reading are without the English international Howard Hoskin, who has been out of action since Christmas, and will also be missing the New Zealander Karl Sanders who, since his arrival at Christmas, has gone some way to filling the gap created by Hoskin. Sanders has a groin injury and is expected to be missing for three weeks.

Reading will also be hoping that their captain, Jon Wyatt, due back from America late last night, will not be suffering from jet lag.

The pick of tomorrow's remaining quarter-final ties is the visit of League runners-up, Teddington, to Cannock. Teddington expect to be at full strength. Cannock will again be without their Welsh international Ian Hughes-Rowlands.

In their two League encounters this season the teams have scored 16 goals between them with only one goal on each occasion separating them. It promises to be a high scoring contest. In the other two ties, Guildford should get the better of Surbiton and St Albans should go into the semi-final draw rather than Chelmsford.

Eastcote have been named the Nastro Azzurro club of the season for winning their first and second XI Regional Leagues in which both teams went through the season unbeaten. Additionally the Vets, holders of the HA Veterans Trophy, have reached this year's final.