Mid-table Beeston’s play-off hopes hang by a thread with three games left in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division, but they also have one eye on the teams below them with relegation still not mathematically ruled out.
Four defeats in a row have seen them drop out of the top four but they still harbour hopes of finishing the season well, starting with a trip to second-bottom Slough this Saturday.
“It has been a frustrating run of results for us, but we are confident that if we finish the season well anything is still possible,” said Beeston team manager Chris Glover.
“Last Saturday was particularly frustrating as we played very well against Buckingham creating lots of chances and we were perhaps unlucky with a disallowed goal, but ultimately we failed to put away our opportunities and inevitably that costs you.
“This week will be a very tough test. Slough are a very difficult team to play against. They are well organised, difficult to break down, and are tactically smart, so we will need to be more clinical with the chances we create if we are to come away with the three points.
“We are confident though that if we can deliver the same level of performance as last week and be more precise with our detail in the ‘D’, we can back on a winning run to finish off the season.”
Elsewhere Clifton Robinsons are fifth and harbour play-off hopes, but they have to get past high-flying Surbiton – and hope that Buckingham lose to leaders Holcombe – to move up the table.
And it’s last-chance saloon for bottom of the table Canterbury. They must beat visitors East Grinstead and hope that Slough lose to Beeston to save themselves from automatic relegation.
Leaders Hampstead & Westminster play host to St Albans in the Investec Conference East, while second-placed Wimbledon entertain Harleston Magpies as they continue to chase the leaders.
Stourport could clinch the Investec Conference West title this weekend when they go to Oxford Hawks, while Gloucester City go to Swansea City hoping the leaders slip up and help keep their promotion hopes alive.
Similarly, Loughborough Students could be celebrating the Investec Conference North title if they can win at Brooklands-Poynton and Leicester drop points against Leeds.
Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, 16 March 2019)
Investec Premier Division
Buckingham v Holcombe 12:00
Slough v Beeston 12:30
Clifton Robinsons v Surbiton 13:00
Univ of Birmingham v Bowdon Hightown 13:30
Canterbury v East Grinstead 16:00
Investec Conference East
Hampstead & Westminster v St Albans 13:30
Wimbledon v Harleston Magpies 14:00
Horsham v Ipswich 14:30
Cambridge City v Bedford 15:30
Sevenoaks v Southgate 17:00
Investec Conference West
Isca v Barnes 12:00
Oxford Hawks v Stourport 12:00
Swansea City v Gloucester 12:00
Trojans v Exe 12:00
Reading v Olton & West Warwicks 16:30
Investec Conference North
Sutton Coldfield v Belper 12:00
Brooklands-Poynton v Loughborough Students 13:00
Fylde v Ben Rhydding 13:30
Timperley v Univ of Durham 14:15
Leicester v Leeds 14:30
Courtesy of England Hockey