Champs Beeston blast past Canterbury
Reigning champions Beeston picked up where they left off with a 6-2 win over Canterbury on the first day of the 2014-15 NOW: Pensions Premier Division season. It was Beeston who drew first blood with Gordon McIntyre on target but Harry Roberts pulled Canterbury level soon after. But Beeston went on to pepper the opposition goal with shots and Sam Ward, Tim Whiteman and David Ames all found the target, as did Ben Arnold with a quick-fire brace.
Last season’s runners-up East Grinstead were favourites against Cannock, but were trailing 3-1 at the break after Rob Farrington, Tom Morris and Marc Edwards had given their side the lead. But East Grinstead hit back with Mark Pearn and David Condon pulling them level. Then, with just seven seconds remaining, Ashley Jackson popped up to score the winner. Last season, Surbiton finished third and Reading took fourth spot. The two sides clashed and it was Surbiton who claimed the points as Geoff McCabe, Alan Forsyth and Matt Daly scored their goals in a 3-1 scoreline. Newcomers Brooklands Manchester University and Southgate faced off and as expected, it was a close contest. Peter Flanagan put Brooklands ahead after four minutes before Andrew Westbrook equalised. Dave Flanagan had the chance to restore Brooklands’ lead on 21 minutes but saw his penalty stroke saved by Allan Dick. This spurred Southgate on and they went on to claim all three points with a goal from George Scott.
Hampstead and Westminster performed a sensational smash-and-grab to beat Wimbledon 2-1. Wimbledon led from the fifth minute but Andy Hayward’s goal in the 68th minute levelled the scores before Will Naylor hit the winner from the restart. NOW: Pensions Men's Conference East Holcombe started their push for promotion with a 5-1 win over Old Loughtonians with a number of top new signings making their debuts. Gareth Andrew was in lethal form, scoring four of their goals, while Dan Coultas added the other. Peter Dobson was the hat-trick hero for Bromley and Beckenham as they recorded a 5-2 win on the road at Teddington. Richmond made a faultless start to their campaign, running out 5-0 winners over Oxted. Oxted held the lead until the 41st minute after a Chris Webster goal but Richmond fought back and their comeback started with Jack Hardy’s successful conversion of a penalty stroke. Chichester Priory Park announced their arrival to the division in some style, beating Brighton and Hove 4-1. Jack Lerwill led the scoring with a brace. On Sunday, Cambridge City took a 2-0 win on the road against West Herts with goals from Ross Hayward and Sam O'Shea. NOW: Pensions Men's Conference North Sheffield Hallam suffered relegation last season but sent out a clear message that they’d be pushing for promotion this year with a 5-0 win over Leek in the NOW: Pensions Men's Conference North. Liam Ansell was on target twice with Nicholas Parkes, David Goodfield and Lucas Ward also finding the net. Bowdon's Ben White hit a brace to lead the scoring in an exciting 6-3 home win against Wakefield and Rhys Doherty also weighed in with two goals as Loughborough Students beat Doncaster 4-2. Matthew Murphy hit a hat-trick to lead University of Durham to a 3-1 win over Belper and Chris Armstrong scored the winner for Olton and West Warwickshire in a 3-2 victory over Deeside Ramblers. NOW: Pensions Men's Conference West Liam Brignull, Rhys Gowman and James Carson all scored twice as Cardiff and Met raced to an 11-0 win over Whitchurch, putting them top of the table. The reigning champions, who just missed out on promotion to the Premier Division last term, looked as dangerous as ever as they showed newcomers Whitchurch what a tough league it will be. Two goals for Tom Whitworth helped University of Exeter to a 3-0 win over Indian Gymkhana and Team Bath Buccaneers’ Sam Hatherley scored the only goal in his side’s triumph away to Cheltenham. Elsewhere, a Jamie Rawlings goal proved to be the difference in a 3-2 win over Barford Tigers for Fareham and Guildford drew 2-2 with University of Birmingham.
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