The University of Birmingham were made to work hard by visitors Slough to clinch a narrow 2-1 victory in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.
Jo Turnbull’s early goal was cancelled out by Emma Onien for Slough on 27 minutes, and the University of Birmingham had to wait until seven minutes from the hooter to scrape victory, with Lauren Hunt scoring the winner on 63 minutes.
Elsewhere, Surbiton went two points clear at the top of the table with a narrow 1-0 win over Clifton Robinsons. Izzy Petter was the only scorer of the game, netting from open play after eleven minutes.
East Grinstead secured their first victory of the season as they won 2-1 at home to league newcomers Beeston.
Bridget Blackwood opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when she scored a goal from open play. The hosts doubled their advantage when Sophie Bray scored in the same fashion in the 31st minute.
Beeston hit back in the 62nd minute when Caroline Hanks scored the third goal of the game from open play, but East Grinstead held on for the win.
Elsewhere, Bowdon and Canterbury secured their first point of the season from a 2-2 draw.
The first goal of the game was scored by Aine Curran for Bowdon as she netted from a penalty corner in the 20th minute.
Canterbury then scored two quickfire goals to lead 2-1 going in to the break. The first from Nicki Ball from open play in the 23rd minute, then Grace Balsdon finished a penalty stroke in the 29th.
Bowdon’s Charlene Mason then scored from open play in the 64th to ensure both teams received a share of the spoils.
Finally, Holcombe and Buckingham played out a 1-1 draw with Natasha James having given Buckingham the lead before Olivia Wade scored for Holcombe 12 minutes later.
Investec Women’s Conference West
Sally Walton and Sade Gerald both bagged a hat-trick as Olton & West Warwicks produced a dominant display to beat Exe 8-1 in the Investec Conference West.
Alice Conquest and Lucy Smith also scored while Emily Mitchem claimed the only goal for Exe.
Last season’s champions Stourport started their season well with a 4-1 win at home against Barnes. Lottie Atkinson scored a brace, while Lora Symonds and Sarah Parkinson scored one each to secure the win.
Elsewhere, Swansea City secured a 2-1 away victory at Reading, while Isca won 3-0 at home against Trojans and Gloucester City won 1-0 at home against Oxford Hawks.
Investec Women’s Conference East
Nikki Kidd scored a brace as Sevenoaks won 5-1 at home against Horsham in the Investec Conference East.
Susie Rowe, Maddie Thompson and Jen Wilson also got themselves on the scoresheet as Sevenoaks secured all three points.
England and GB ace Helen Richardson-Walsh scored a hat-trick as Cambridge produced an excellent display, beating visitors Southgate 5-0. Megan Crowson scored a brace to seal the win.
Elsewhere, Harleston Magpies secured a 3-0 victory away at Bedford, while St Albans also performed well away from home winning 4-0 against Ipswich.
Hampstead & Westminster also secured three points as they won at home against Wimbledon by a scoreline of 3-0.
Investec Women’s Conference North
Ben Rhydding came out on top after a dramatic match against Brooklands Poynton, winning 3-2 in the Investec Women’s Conference North.
Kate Wood had given the home side the lead after 22 minutes, but that only lasted six minutes before Brooklands’ Izzy Wray equalised.
Annabelle Watton gave the visitors the lead with a 42nd minute field goal, before Tanisha Janzen pulled Ben Rhydding back level. Then in a decisive move, Beth Cordukes scored the winner after 59 minutes to give the hosts the win.
Elsewhere, Loughborough Students and the University of Durham had to settle for a share of the spoils from a 2-2 draw, while Timperley were 3-1 winners at Sutton Coldfield and Leeds ran out 2-1 winners at Fylde.
Above photo of Jo Turnbull celebrating her goal for the University of Birmingham by Andrew Smith.
Results – Investec Women’s Hockey League
Investec Premier Division: Bowdon Hightown 2, Canterbury 2; East Grinstead 2, Beeston 1; Holcombe 1, Buckingham 1; Surbiton 1, Clifton Robinsons 0; University of Birmingham 2, Slough 1.
Investec Conference West: Gloucester City 1, Oxford Hawks 0; Isca 3, Trojans 0; Olton & West Warwicks 8, Exe 1; Reading 1, Swansea City 2; Stourport 4, Barnes 1.
Investec Conference East: Bedford 0, Harleston Magpies 3; Cambridge City 5, Southgate 0; Hampstead & Westminster 3, Wimbledon 0; Ipswich 0, St Albans 4; Sevenoaks 5, Horsham 1.
Investec Conference North: Ben Rhydding 3, Brooklands Poynton 2; Fylde 1, Leeds 2; Loughborough Students 2, University of Durham 2; Sutton Coldfield 1, Timperley 3.
Courtesy of England Hockey via Snowdon Sports