This weekend is the beginning of the EHL End of Season Championship Play-Offs. With the best five teams in the country set to battle it out for supremacy these games are of huge significance. The Top of the D takes you through the teams involved.
The first tie is Beeston vs. Reading.
The Bees, who of course shocked everyone by defeating East Grinstead in the final of this competition last season, go into their match with 3rd-placed Reading on a good run of form. They haven’t lost in the league since the fourth of December, that game a 3-1 home defeat to, you’ve guessed it, Reading. Their last seven games have yielded five wins and two draws, most notably an 8-6 win over top of the table East Grinstead. Beeston boast one of the most talented sides in the league and on their day, as they have proved, they are capable of beating anyone.
Final League Position: 2nd
Key Players: Experience is one of the key factors in Reading’s success. Many of their players have seen it all before. It is hard to look beyond the Mantell brothers, Simon and Richard. Richard is an imposing presence in the heart of the defence and a massive threat from penalty corners, scoring as he has 9 goals this season. Whilst Simon has chipped in six league goals, his individual ability has the potential to be the difference between teams in a tightly fought contest. Of course it would be wrong not to mention top scorer Andy Watts too, six goals from open play and four from corners show his poacher’s instinct could prove to be vital.
The winner of this tie will play East Grinstead on Sunday. Part two of the preview will follow tomorrow.