Investec Women's Hockey League Preview

Investec Women's Hockey League Logo
With Investec Women’s Cup action on Sunday, all 20 matches in the Investec Women’s Hockey League take place on Saturday. 

Remember, you can follow all of the results on Twitter (@EnglandHockey and @SnowdonSports) and in our end of the day round-up on the website. To follow specific league topics on Twitter, use the following hashtags.

#investechockey - general hashtag for the Investec Women's Hockey League
#ehlwprem - Investec Women's Premier Division
#ehlwnorth - Investec Women's Conference North
#ehlweast - Investec Women's Conference East
#ehlwwest - Investec Women's Conference West

See all of the fixtures here.

Investec Women’s Premier Division
There are a number of mouth watering ties in the Investec Women’s Premier Division this weekend.  Chief among those are the clash in the West Midlands between Olton & West Warwicks and Canterbury, second and fourth respectively, and the University of Birmingham’s match with Leicester.  The students are the second highest scoring side in the division, behind Olton, and will fancy their chances against a Leicester side whose recent recovery slowed last weekend in a 1-1 draw at Slough (pictured below).

Leicester's Vanessa Hawkins (L) gets away from Slough's Natalie Bell during their Investec Women's Premier Division match at Slough HC, 15th October 2011. 

For Olton, Emma Mccabe and Denise Marston-Smith still lead the scoring charts; Mccabe’s hat-trick in a 3-1 win at Sutton Coldfield last weekend took her to eight goals in five matches.
Investec Women’s Premier Division leaders Reading are still one of only two sides across the entire league with a 100% record after Scotland and Great Britain forward Laura Bartlett’s double helped them to victory over Bowdon Hightown last weekend.  The champions are at home to Sutton Coldfield in the late afternoon match. 
Still rooted to the bottom of the table are Cannock, whose lack of goals is starting to become a concern.  Three goals in five matches does not bode well for their trip to Cheshire where they will play Bowdon Hightown.
In the first match of the day, at 11:30am, Clifton welcome Slough to Bristol.  The south west side went down 2-1 at Canterbury last weekend; GB Olympic hopeful Georgie Twigg had opened the scoring for her side but Canterbury roared back to take the points.

Investec Women’s Conference North
We told you to watch out for goals in Investec Women’s Conference North last weekend and the results did not disappoint.  With 27 goals in five games, including the Conference’s top two, University of Durham and Wakefield Bradford.  Durham’s students were two up inside six minutes on their way to a 5-3 win at Springfields while Wakefield Bradford left it very late to take all three points from their match at home to Beeston.  3-2 down with three minutes remaining, Gwen Smith and Cat Horn struck in the 67th and 68th minutes to seal the points that keep the Yorkshire side level on points with University of Durham.  Interestingly, in the top scoring Conference, Wakefield Bradford have scored just nine times in their opening five matches yet have achieved three wins and two draws.  Their scoring record is inferior to the sides sitting third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh in Investec Conference North.  This week, they travel to Springfields, who sit ninth in the table after last weekend’s defeat.  University of Durham, for whom Harriet Moore is top scorer in the Conference, are at home to Brooklands Poynton, who sit mid-table after a 3-1 win over Loughborough Students LHC; a result that included two penalty strokes, successfully converted by Helen Armishaw.  Loughborough travel to lowly Northampton Saints on Saturday while Saints’ conquerors of last weekend – Doncaster - are at Whitley Bay and Tynemouth. Doncaster and Beeston both sit just one point behind the league leaders and will be hoping for victories to propel them up the table.  Beeston are at home to Liverpool Sefton, another side that has struggled for goals this season.

Investec Women’s Conference East 
One of this season’s new Surbiton signings Chloe Strong scored twice last weekend in a 5-0 win at Horsham, a result that propelled them to the top of Investec Women’s Conference East, ahead of St Albans on goal difference.  This week, the Surrey side is at home to third place Ipswich, who themselves will have an eye on climbing the table. Ipswich slipped after last weekend’s home defeat to Sevenoaks and will be keen to get back on track.  St Albans, who could go top if Surbiton slip up, are at home to bottom of the Conference Horsham. Chelmsford and Maidstone have won just one match apiece so far this season and are separated by two points.  Should Chelmsford pick up all three points from their home game against the Kent side, they will leapfrog them in the table. 
Oxford Hawks are the top scoring side in Investec Women’s Conference East with Tacita Haines and Beth Warne two of the Conference’s top five goal scorers.  This week sees a battle of the birds as the Hawks take flight to Harleston Magpies, who picked up a 1-0 home win over Old Loughtonians last weekend.  And following that defeat, Old Loughts are in Kent to play Sevenoaks, who sit mid-table following last week’s victory at Ipswich. 

Investec Women’s Conference West
It was business as usual in the Investec Women’s Conference West last weekend with Buckingham continuing on their winning ways.  Five wins in five keeps them top of the Conference following last weekend’s 4-0 win over Staines, who are rooted to the bottom of the table with just one point.  The table toppers might find things a little tougher this weekend though as they travel to Barnes Hounslow Ealing.  The Londoners have started well enough, with three wins and two defeats from their opening stint, although they will be keen for a positive reaction after last week’s defeat to Swansea.  Isca’s 0-0 draw with Gloucester City last weekend means they have lost ground on Buckingham but have the chance to catch up if they can win at home to Swansea.  The Welsh side leads the chasing pack behind Isca, the first of three clubs separated by a single point. Barnes HE and Exe are the other two with Exe travelling to Gloucester City hoping their nearest rivals slip up in their matches against the top two.  With the top four all in action against each other it’s also an interesting weekend at the bottom.  Seventh placed Firebrands were one of last weekend’s big winners, coming away from Bath with a 4-2 win, and they host ninth place Trojans, who are yet to record a victory this season. And Staines, the other side yet to win in Investec Women’s Conference West, are at home to Team bath Buccaneers, a match that perhaps represents Staines’ best opportunity so far to kick start their season.

Investec Women’s Cup – Round Two
Round two of the Investec Women’s Cup takes place on Sunday with 16 ties set to take place around the country.  Pick of the bunch is the all Investec Women’s Premier Division clash between Sutton Coldfield and Bowdon Hightown.  Four other Premier Division sides are in Investec Women’s Cup action; Olton & West Warwicks travel to Beeston, while Cannock are at home to Doncaster.  The University of Birmingham are at Firebrands while Clifton travel to Somerset to play Taunton Vale.

To see the full draw and match results click here.


 About Investec, title sponsor of the Investec Women’s Hockey League

Investec LogoInvestec is the title sponsor of the Investec Women’s Hockey League. An international specialist bank and asset manager, Investec also sponsors the England and Great Britain women’s hockey teams, Quicksticks and The London Cup.

Investec is an international specialist bank and asset manager that provides a diverse range of financial products and services to a select client base. The group was established in 1974 and has since expanded to an efficient integrated international business platform with core activities in the UK, South Africa and Australia, employing approximately 6 100 employees.

Investec focuses on delivering distinctive profitable solutions for its clients in six core areas of activity namely, Asset Management, Private Wealth, Property Activities, Private Banking, Investment Banking and Capital Markets.

In July 2002 the Investec group implemented a dual listed company structure with listings on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges. In March 2010 Investec joined the FTSE 100.

Investec sponsors Tottenham Hotspur in cup competitions (Champions league, FA cup and Carling Cup), the Investec Derby Festival as well as the Investec Tri Nations Rugby in New Zealand

For further information on Investec visit - www.investec.com