Hockey: Sheffield look to Allchin to make up lost ground

By Bill Colwill
Wednesday 22 January 2014 02:19
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Twelve teams gather at Manchester's Belle Vue arena this weekend for three days of competition with the prize for four of them National League status next season.

After two rounds of the Inter-league play-offs, South teams lead the way unbeaten. Old Georgians are two points clear of Sheffield University Bankers in the men's event, and Epsom two points ahead of Worcester Norton in the women's section.

Sheffield, a merger between Sheffield Bankers and the University with the free scoring Jon Allchin already with four goals to his name, and Worcester Norton, who have built their success on a commitment to youth, start the weekend as favourites to top their pools.

Reading and Slough Ladies await their opponents for Monday's Premiership Finals at East Grinstead with mixed feelings. Sloughwill face either Canterbury, who thrashed them in the Cup final last month, or Olton and West Warwick who they have already beaten this year in the first round of the play-offs but who trounced them in the Premiership final last season.

Reading, on the other hand, have beaten Cannock, the likely winners of today's game with Loughborough Students, twice recently.

Mike Hamilton, the England coach, has announced his England squad to play two games against Malaysia at Lilleshall NSC next weekend.

Hamilton has kept faith with six of the young players recently introduced, along with the recall of four of his World Cup squad, Guy Fordham, David Mathews, Jerome Gouldie and Jimmy Wallis, who did not feature in the recent four games against Belgium. The surprise omission was Surbiton's Ben Hawes.

England squad: N Taylor, J Collins, G Fordham , J Ebsworth, R Moore, B Garrard, J Wallis, J Peckett, J Gouldie, G Kirkham, R Mantell, R Todd, M Pearn J Clarke, D Mathews, C Parnham, B Middleton, A West.

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