With three wins under their belts since Christmas, Buckingham head to Beeston in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday, with a place in the play-offs firmly within their grasp.
Currently fifth, Buckingham could step up into the all-important top four if they can secure a victory. But they face a Beeston side who beat them earlier in the season – and who have international players returning to the squad.
“They are all big games at this point of the season,” said Buckingham’s Head Coach Zak Jones.
“Beeston are a team that have had a bit of a blip, but they have had a lot of players out on international duty. We played them in the Tier One Championships last weekend and they had two or three missing, but they were still a very good side.
“It will be a competitive game; they are very well coached and we always have good battles, so it will be tight and tense.”
Buckingham will be hoping Clifton Robinsons slip up at strugglers Slough so that they can leap-frog them in the table, while Buckingham could also move into third spot in East Grinstead lose against the University of Birmingham.
Elsewhere, leaders Holcombe head to Bowdon Hightown, while in the other top flight match of the weekend Surbiton play host to bottom of the table Canterbury.
In the Investec Conference East leaders Hampstead & Westminster go to Bedford on Saturday, a side who are desperate for points to boost their bid for a top six place and a spot in next season’s Division One.
Similarly, third-placed Sevenoaks go to Harleston Magpies who are fifth, with both teams looking to hold on to their place in the top half of the table.
Belper are on the road to leaders Loughborough Students in the Investec Conference North on Saturday. Currently fifth, Belper are one of several teams who are bidding to retain a top six place and stay in the second tier of hockey following the restructure for 2019-20.
Meanwhile, Leicester will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Loughborough when they go to Timperley.
And in the Investec Conference West leaders Stourport, who lost for the first time last week, have a home game against Isca, who are desperate for points as they bid to step up from their currently position of eighth.
Second-placed Gloucester City – who had to settle for a draw with Barnes and lost the chance to make up more ground on Stourport last weekend – go to Trojans this weekend.
Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, 9 March 2019)
Investec Premier Division
Slough v Clifton Robinsons 12:30
Bowdon Hightown v Holcombe 13:45
Beeston v Buckingham 14:00
East Grinstead v Univ of Birmingham 16:00
Surbiton v Canterbury 16:00
Investec Conference East
Wimbledon v Horsham 12:00
Bedford v Hampstead & Westminster 13:30
Harleston Magpies v Sevenoaks 13:30
Southgate v St Albans 14:00
Ipswich v Cambridge City 14:30
Investec Conference West
Barnes v Reading 12:00
Olton & West Warwicks v Oxford Hawks 12:00
Trojans v Gloucester City 12:00
Exe v Swansea City 13:00
Stourport v Isca 14:30
Investec Conference North
Leeds v Fylde 12:30
Sutton Coldfield v Brooklands-Poynton 12:30
Ben Rhydding v Univ of Durham 13:30
Timperley v Leicester 14:15
Loughborough Students v Belper 16:00
Courtesy of England Hockey via Snowdon Sport