Sheffield Hallam HC endured a difficult start to life in the NOW: Pensions Premier Division, crashing 3-0 at East Grinstead in their first match after gaining promotion last season.
Joe Naughalty scored in the first half for EG, and two late goals from Ashley Jackson and Glenn Kirkham secured the points. Premier Division hockey comes to Abbeydale Park for the first time on Sunday, when Hallam entertain Surbiton (1.30pm) on their iconic London 2012 ‘smurf turf’ surface.
Meanwhile, Sheffield Bankers HC hope to kick-start a successful season in style on Saturday when they entertain rivals Sheffield Hallam at their Goodwin Sports Centre home.
The fixture is the pick of the weekend’s ties in the North Hockey Men’s League Division One, and chairman Bob Hindle hopes it is a catalyst for success in the term ahead.
“We must now turn our thoughts to achieving successes which I am convinced will make this season a memorable one.”
Surbiton, who beat Hampstead & Westminster 5-1 last weekend, are another of the sides at the very top end of English hockey and, like East Grinstead, boast a host of current internationals, including Matt Daly and James Tindall who both got on the score sheet against Hampstead.
Club officials and the squad are realistic about how hard it will be this season for Sheffield but there was enough promise in Sussex to show they can hold their own in the top flight.
A large crowd is anticipated so Hallam are advising spectators to get their early for a good position beside the pitch.