Source: Andy Smith

Top two do battle in Investec Women’s Premier Division

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Leaders Surbiton play host to rivals East Grinstead in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday as the battle for play-off places intensifies.

Surbiton currently lead East Grinstead by three points but could fall behind them this weekend if they lose on Saturday and the team from Sussex also pick up points against Canterbury on Sunday.

“Our performance against Slough last week was really positive,” said Surbiton’s 1st XI Manager Tony Jones. “We had pretty much a full strength team out, and we will be the same this weekend.

“The prospect of both East Grinstead and ourselves being at full strength is a mouth-watering one, and that’s exactly what we want at this stage of the season. We’ve already qualified for the play-offs, but we want to keep our form going.”

Third-placed Holcombe could also draw level with Surbiton if they beat Canterbury on Saturday, but the top of the table is very close and fourth-placed University of Birmingham could go back to the top of the table if they win both their matches this weekend against Leicester on Saturday and Slough on Sunday.

Bottom of the table Leicester have another crucial double-header weekend. Following their match with the University of Birmingham they entertain ninth-placed Clifton Robinsons on Sunday, knowing that a win would lift them off the bottom.

Buckingham’s hopes of scraping into the play-offs also hang on a double-header weekend, with a trip to Clifton Robinsons on Saturday followed by a home game against Bowdon Hightown on Sunday.

And on Saturday Bowdon go to Slough in a match the hosts need to win to boost their battle to avoid the drop.

In the Investec Women’s Conference East, Hampstead & Westminster could clinch the title this weekend as they go to St Albans on Saturday and host Sevenoaks on Sunday. Elsewhere second-placed Wimbledon take on Cambridge City and Bedford this weekend.

The battle for the Investec Women’s Conference West title continues to be close, with just three points separating the top four teams.

Current leaders Stourport are at home against Isca on Saturday, and then entertain Team Bath Buccaneers on Sunday, while second-placed Trojans go to Cannock on Saturday.

Third-placed Reading play Oxford Hawks and Cannock this weekend, while fourth-placed Swansea City’s opposition is Olton & West Warwicks and Gloucester City.

Liverpool Sefton’s battle to avoid the drop in the Investec Women’s Conference North doesn’t get any easier – they play host to champions Beeston, who have won all 16 matches so far.

* With an almost full set of matches in both Divisions needing to be rearranged after the bad weather on 3 March, England Hockey is very grateful for the support from clubs and officials to assist with this, particularly Colin Barthorpe, Umpire Coordinator for the NPUA.

* The above photo shows Surbiton’s Emily Atkinson battling against Slough’s Lou Bevan.


Saturday, March 17 2018

Investec Premier Division
Leicester v Univ of Birmingham 12:00
Slough v Bowdon 12:30
Clifton Robinsons v Buckingham 13:00
Surbiton v East Grinstead 14:00
Holcombe v Canterbury 16:00

Investec Conference East
St Albans v Hampstead & Westminster 13:00
Chelmsford v Barnes 14:00
Harleston Magpies v Bedford 14:00
Wimbledon v Cambridge City 14:00
Southgate v Sevenoaks 15:30

Investec Conference North
Brooklands-Poynton v Ben Rhydding 12:00
Univ of Durham v Fylde 12:00
Liverpool Sefton v Beeston 12:30
Loughborough Students v Wakefield 12:30
Sutton Coldfield v Timperley 12:30

Investec Conference West
Oxford Hawks v Reading 12:00
Swansea City v Olton & West Warwicks 12:00
Cannock v Trojans 12:30
Team Bath Buccaneers v Gloucester City 13:00
Stourport v Isca 14:30

Sunday, March 18 2018

Investec Premier Division
Univ of Birmingham v Slough 12:45
Buckingham v Bowdon Hightown 13:00
Leicester v Clifton Robinsons 13:00
Canterbury v East Grinstead 14:00

Investec Conference East
Southgate v Harleston Magpies 12:30
Hampstead & Westminster v Sevenoaks 13:30
Cambridge City v Barnes 14:30
Bedford v Wimbledon 15:00
St Albans v Chelmsford 15:30

Investec Conference North
Loughborough Students v Liverpool Sefton 12:30
Fylde v Ben Rhydding 13:30
Sutton Coldfield v Univ of Durham 13:30
Wakefield v Brooklands-Poynton 15:30

Investec Conference West
Cannock v Reading 12:30
Gloucester City v Swansea City 12:30
Stourport v Team Bath Buccaneers 14:15
Olton & West Warwicks v Oxford Hawks 14:30

Report courtesy of England Hockey via Snowdon Sports