Cross future up in the air over West London action
GERRARDS Cross Hockey Club men’s promotion bid will this weekend reach its climax – but remains shrouded in mystery and controversy.
With two promotion places up for grabs, just one point separate the top four teams in MBBO Division Three, with the Cross needing to beat Oxford Hawks 5s at home on Saturday, while hoping other results go their way.
But off-the-pitch matters could yet decide the outcome. As we revealed earlier this month, since the new year, teams have been refusing to play West London amid claims of poor discipline from the Northolt-based side.
The South Hockey League, which is responsible for the MBBO divisions, last week took action against one of the Cross’s promotion rivals, Wycombe 3s, fining them £100 and deducting them three points.
Wycombe are consulting with England Hockey before deciding what to do next, but in the meantime, if the same fate befalls other clubs who have refused to play West London, the division will fall into chaos.
The strange prospect could thus emerge after the weekend of all games having been played, but nobody having any idea of whether or not they will be the final standings – and if those who finish in the top two can celebrate promotion or not.
Gerrards Cross captain Greg Causer said: “We have not heard anything from the league yet, but it’s disgusting that Wycombe have been fined and punished for effectively safeguarding their players.”
Elsewhere, Amersham & Chalfont men and South Bucks men will play their final games having already wrapped up the MBBO Division One and Six titles respectively.
Amersham will complete the league season unbeaten if they manage to avoid defeat at Ashford 2nds, while South Bucks will be looking to finish with a flourish at home to Oxford 6ths.
Off-the-pitch fears: Greg Causer during a previous match against