HOCKEY: McCollum Absence a Blow for Bournville's Cup Hopes

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Byline: Paul Raymer

Bournville's top scorer Simon McCollum, with 14 National League Division One goals this season, will miss today's plum Men's Cup fifth round tie against the cup holders Reading.

He will be enjoying a wellearned holiday in the Barbados sun which had been booked long before Bournville found their winning streak.

The Birmingham side, which has made a rapid rise to the top three in Division One in the past few weeks, will also be without defender Dan Pesh who was injured playing against Stourport last Sunday, and Steve Mallows who is unavailable.

Gurdial Randhawa, Bournville's manager, said: 'It's the first time for many years that we have got to the fifth round. We weren't expecting to get beyond the third or fourth rounds. We certainly hope to make Reading feel they have played in a well fought tie.'

Tomorrow, Cannock, last season's beaten finalists are away to Loughborough Students without five regular players who are in South Africa on an England B tourRachel Walker will miss Olton's game against Trojans to undertake training, strength and conditioning. They are also without Ben Sharpe who has a back injury.

However, the compensating factor is that Cannock's four GB players, missing for virtually the whole of the first half of the season are in the cup squad. …