It can be nothing other than a classic: the two teams with 100% records go to head to head this Saturday in a showcase of SEMLA’s talent.
Spencer v Hampstead is the Big Top game that will draw the crowds this Saturday as they arm wrestle for Premier Division supremacy.
It’s a North v South London encounter with the two highest scoring teams in action for the first time this season – their marksmen have scored a total 345 goals in 21 games and both defences mainline miserly returns.
It’s black v purple in what could be a bruising match-up with some of the best skills and dynamic teamwork systems on offer in the South.
The clash, at Spencer’s Earlsfield home, will have huge bearing on the title although it would be foolish to ignore the credentials of Hillcroft, lurking in third, who could derail either of SEMLA’s express trains.
Both teams breeze into the match with a full win record, Hampstead edging league position by four points by way of playing one more game.
Both had comfortable wins last Saturday: Spencer making short work of 10-man Cambridge University 18-5 and Hampstead accounting for an underpowered Blues team 16-4.
Tom Carver, with 4 goals, and Rob Holmes with three lead the way as Spencer showed their flair and fluidity against the students. They were 7-2 up at Q1 but couldn’t apply cruise control as Cambridge harried them throughout and refused to go meekly.
Jono Linebaugh scored four from the visitors while the Spencer scoring was shared around middie and attack with co-captain Tom Leahy popping up to claim a strike. As ever it was the patient, incisive ball movement that caught the eye as they freed up space for some easy-on-the-eye goals.
Hampstead entertained a Blues unit without the injured Ed Simkin-Byrne and the absent Dave Baldwin and, after a close Q1 which they edged 3-2, the Men in Black pulled 7-2 clear at half time. They hit the sweet spot in Q4, netting seven times for a big win.
The anticipation has been building for this one for a long time as the first fixuture was re-arranged due to Thanksgiving. They meet again on March 4 at the Westway and, crucially, both will have met Hillcroft in between.
Hampstead, who beat them 13-9 in November, travel to Tooting on February 11, and Spencer – who triumphed 11-5 in December – face them on the final league Saturday on March 25.
Most Premier League teams have a free Saturday so expect a decent crowd to watch one of the games of the season