After climbing up to second with victory over East Grinstead last weekend, the University of Birmingham will be aiming to continue their winning form as they go to Slough in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.
It is tight at the top of the table with both teams in a list of five that could go top after this weekend but Birmingham’s Berkshire-based opponents will be gunning for glory after being beaten by reigning champions Surbiton last time out.
“Even when they were fighting to stay up last year Slough were a very difficult team to play against and they have worked hard since last year and picked up a few points early on,” said the University of Birmingham’s Head Coach Phil Gooderham.
“It’s a very close league at the moment with everybody beating everybody else, but I think it’ll settle down after a couple more weeks.
“We had a poor pre-season because we had so many goals away, but things have picked up for us,” added Gooderham, whose side have not lost since September.
Elsewhere, Surbiton will be looking to extend their three-point lead at the top of the table when they head to East Grinstead, while Clifton Robinsons – who drew with last season’s runners-up Holcombe last weekend – have a match at Buckingham.
There is also the Kent derby match at Canterbury with Holcombe the visitors in a double-header with their men’s teams. Canterbury are desperate for points with just one draw to their name this season, while Holcombe have only won two of their first six and will be desperate for points so they do not fall behind the frontrunners.
Finally, Leicester are hosting Bowdon Hightown and will be looking to build on last weekend’s 4-1 win over Canterbury.
Leaders Hampstead and Westminster will be looking to continue their free-scoring ways in the Investec Conference East as they host Harleston Magpies, while Sevenoaks will similarly be looking to preserve their 100% record as they go to St Albans.
Beeston have a 100% record in the Investec Conference North, and they entertain Ben Rhydding on Saturday while Brooklands Poynton – who scored nine goals in their win over Wakefield last weekend – will be aiming for a similar result when they go to Timperley.
Reading go to Isca in the Investec Conference West as they bid to preserve the only unbeaten record in the table. Meanwhile, leaders Trojans also have an away match with Stourport being their hosts.
* The lead photo shows University of Birmingham’s Lydia Macdonnell in action.
Saturday, November 4 2017
Investec Women’s Hockey League
Investec Premier Division
Buckingham v Clifton Robinsons 12:00
Slough v Univ of Birmingham 12:30
East Grinstead v Surbiton 13:30
Leicester v Bowdon Hightown 14:30
Canterbury v Holcombe 16:00
Investec Conference North
Univ of Durham v Sutton Coldfield 12:00
Wakefield v Loughborough Students 12:00
Timperley v Brooklands Poynton 12:30
Beeston v Ben Rhydding 14:00
Investec Conference East
St Albans v Sevenoaks 13:00
Barnes v Bedford 13:30
Hampstead & Westminster v Harleston Magpies 13:30
Wimbledon v Chelmsford 14:00
Cambridge City v Southgate 15:30
Investec Conference West
Isca v Reading 12:00
Olton & West Warwicks v Cannock 12:00
Swansea City v Gloucester City 12:00
Team Bath Buccaneers v Oxford Hawks 12:30
Stourport v Trojans 14:30
Sunday, November 5
Investec Conference North
Liverpool Sefton v Fylde 12:30
This report has been provided on behalf of England Hockey by Snowdon Sports.