Havant and Fareham’s men restart campaigns

Sumeet Singh
Sumeet Singh
fareham's James Evans, right. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Havant resume their season on Sunday with a must-win clash against England Hockey League conference west leaders Team Bath Buccaneers at Havant College (2pm).

Although the encounter represents a tough start to the second half of their season, the hosts will be hoping to catch the Buccaneers cold following the climax of the indoor action.

Bath currently sit eight points ahead of fourth-placed Havant, who picked up just one point from their two outdoor clashes before Christmas.

The Buccaneers, who have finished in the top two in the division for the past four seasons, are desperate to make the play-offs and finally gain top-flight status after so many near misses.

The teams last met at the start of October when a six-goal thriller saw the hosts race into a 4-0 lead before Havant pulled two goals back to set up a tense finish.

On Sunday, the hosts welcome Craig Mullion – a South African inside forward who is coaching at Churchers College – to the squad.

This should help fill the gap left by Sumeet Singh, who is unavailable.

Havant played two friendly games prior to this weekend – a 3-2 loss to Exeter University from the top flight and a 2-2 draw with Indian Gymkhana from conference east.

Meanwhile, Fareham restart their campaign with a trip to face second-placed University of Birmingham tomorrow (12.30pm).

The visitors are currently sixth in conference west on 14 points, having won two out of three matches going into the Christmas break.

Victories over Lichfield (4-2) and Cardiff & UWIC (4-3) were followed by a narrow 1-0 defeat to Guildford as the first half of the outdoor season came to a close.

In ladies’ action, Havant take on Woking at Havant College tomorrow (1.30pm).

They will be looking to build on last weekend’s 2-1 victory at Epsom where first half goals from Issabelle von Rongen and Tory Clark restarted the season in style.

They currently lie fifth in South League division one on 13 points, while Woking are eighth with eight points.

Fareham’s ladies, meanwhile, thrashed Isle of Wight 10-0 last weekend and will be aiming to continue that fine form at City of Portsmouth tomorrow.