Vitality Women’s Hockey League (30 October)
League leaders Hampstead & Westminster withstood a second-half fightback from Loughborough Students to prevail 3-2 in the Vitality Women’s Premier Division.
Melanie Wilkinson opened the scoring for the visitors after 11 minutes before two further strikes in two minutes from Lucy Hyams, scoring for the fourth game in a row, and Fran Tew extended their advantage to 3-0.
But Loughborough responded just before the break through Beth Alexander and pulled another one back on 45 minutes thanks to Catherine Ledesma from a penalty corner.
Hampstead & Westminster managed to hold their nerve though and see the rest of the match out, ensuring they made it seven wins from seven to remain at the summit of the division.
Elsewhere, Wimbledon lost ground on the leaders after they were held to a 1-1 draw by University of Birmingham following a tight-fought contest at Raynes Park.
Hollie Pearne-Webb had given the hosts the lead at half-time with her effort in the 31st minute but University of Birmingham struck back through captain Millie Giglio to share the spoils.
East Grinstead kept up their title challenge with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Holcombe as second-half goals from Sophie Bray and Chloe Palmer got the job done.
Surbiton were also in impressive form as a first-half brace from Sophie Hamilton and another goal from Holly Payne saw the visitors romp to a 3-0 win at Swansea.
And Beeston went one better as they put four goals past Buckingham to triumph 4-0, with Sophie Robinson notching a double along with goals from Mads Newitt and Lucy Millington.
- Beeston 4-0 Buckingham
- Holcombe 0-2 East Grinstead
- Loughborough Students 2-3 Hampstead & Westminster
- Swansea 0-3 Surbiton
- Wimbledon 1-1 University of Birmingham
Division One North
Leaders Bowdon Hightown maintained their 100 per cent record in Division One North as they overcame Belper 3-1 thanks to goals from Cat Booth, Sophia Crawshay and Charlene Mason. University of Nottingham bounced back from their first dropped points of the season last time out with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Ben Rhydding. Meanwhile, Gloucester City clinched a much-needed 2-1 victory over Olton & West Warwicks, Stourport edged out Leicester City by the same 2-1 scoreline and University of Durham eased to a 3-0 win over Brooklands Poynton.
- Ben Rhydding 0-4 University of Nottingham
- Bowdon Hightown 3-1 Belper
- Durham University 3-0 Brooklands Poynton
- Leicester City 1-2 Stourport
- Olton & West Warwicks 1-2 Gloucester City
Division One South
In Division One South, Sevenoaks and Reading followed up their thrilling 3-3 draw last time out with comprehensive victories against Cambridge and Trojans, respectively. Ellie Emo, Jen Crossley, Tess Hannah and Beth Marriott all got on the scoresheet for Reading as they eased to a 4-0 victory against Trojans while Maddie Thompson grabbed a brace in a 4-1 triumph for Sevenoaks. Elsewhere, Canterbury claimed a 3-1 win at ISCA, Slough overcame Wimbledon 2s 3-0 while Surbiton 2s delivered a five-star display as they beat Harleston Magpies.
- Harleston Magpies 5-0.
- Canterbury 3-1 Isca
- Sevenoaks 4-1 Cambridge City
- Slough 3-0 Wimbledon 2s
- Surbiton 2s 5-0 Harleston Magpies
- Trojans 0-4 Reading
There are new league leaders in the Conference East as Barnes took advantage of a thrilling 3-3 draw between former table-toppers London Wayfarers and Southgate. Barnes defeated East London 4-1 to leapfrog London Wayfarers at the top. At the other end of the table, Ipswich picked up a valuable 1-0 win against fellow strugglers Chelmsford as Canterbury were defeated 6-0 by a ruthless Bromley & Beckenham. Hampstead & Westminster 2s also got back to winning ways with a 2-0 triumph over Horsham.
- Bromley & Beckenham 6-0 Canterbury 2s
- Chelmsford 0-1 Ipswich
- East London 1-4 Barnes
- Hampstead & Westminster 2s 2-0 Horsham
- London Wayfarers 3-3 Southgate
Front-runners Sutton Coldfield showed no signs of slowing down as they eased to an emphatic 8-0 win over University of Birmingham 2s to retain their record as the only unbeaten side in the Conference Midlands. In-form Bedford were unable to keep up the pace behind the leaders as their game with Broxbourne was postponed, allowing St Albans to move into second with their 3-2 win over Oxford University. Meanwhile, Beeston 2s defeated Khalsa Leamington 3-1 and Cannock bounced back from their defeat last time out to win 3-0 against Loughborough Students 2s.
- Bedford P-P Broxbourne
- Cannock 3-0 Loughborough Students 2s
- Khalsa Leamington 1-3 Beeston 2s
- St Albans 3-2 Oxford University
- Sutton Coldfield 8-0 University of Birmingham
League leaders Timperley suffered their second consecutive defeat as they followed up their loss to Durham University 2s with a 3-2 defeat to Pendle Forest in the Conference North. Fylde took advantage of that slip-up with a comfortable 3-0 win over Neston to close the gap at the summit. Wakefield also remain on the heels of the leaders after extending their unbeaten run to four games with a 2-0 triumph against Doncaster. Elsewhere, Leeds beat Alderley Edge 3-1 and Didsbury Northern overcame Durham University 2s 4-3 in an enthralling encounter.
- Alderley Edge 1-3 Leeds
- Didsbury Northern 4-3 University of Durham 2s
- Fylde 3-0 Neston
- Pendle Forest 3-2 Timperley
- Wakefield 2-0 Doncaster
Bristol Firebrands were held to a 1-1 draw by Exe as Witney leapfrogged them at the top of the Conference West with a 4-2 victory over Basingstoke. Meanwhile, Team Bath Buccaneers claimed bragging rights over local rivals University of Bristol with a 4-3 win, Oxford Hawks showed no mercy as they defeated Clifton Robinsons 2s 4-0 and Penarth overcame Cheltenham 2-1 to claim their first win of the season.
- Basingstoke 2-4 Witney
- Exe 1-1 Bristol Firebrands
- Oxford Hawks 4-0 Clifton Robinsons 2s
- Penarth 2-1 Cheltenham
- University of Bristol 3-4 Team Bath Buccs
With thanks to England Hockey