Investec Women's Hockey League Preview

Investec Women's Hockey League Logo
Following a weekend’s break for the Futures Cup, the Investec Women’s Hockey League returns with a host of intriguing clashes on the cards.

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.
Sign up for the Investec Women's Premer Division newsletter every Monday here.

Investec Women’s Premier Division
In the Investec Women’s Premier Division, top plays bottom on Sunday as Cannock make the trip south to Berkshire to face a Reading side flying high with six wins from six.  If last season is anything to go by supporters at Sonning Lane could be in for a treat.  A strange pair of results last season saw Reading beat their opponents 6-2 in the corresponding fixture but lose 5-3 in Staffordshire.  And there were plenty of goals on show when Reading hosted Sutton Coldfield a fortnight ago; 11 in total as Reading ran out 9-2 winners with Great Britain Olympian Alex Danson on target four times while Jessica Brooker scored her first goal for Reading.  Reading versus Cannock is part of a Reading-Cannock double header that also sees their two clubs’ men’s teams clash in the Men’s England Hockey League. 

Three of the four Investec Women’s Premier Division matches taking place on Saturday were one-sided affairs last season.  Clifton, Leicester and Slough all completed doubles over their opponents Olton & West Warwicks, Bowdon Hightown and University of Birmingham respectively in the 2010-2011 season.  As things stand though Olton in second sit two places higher than Clifton and can count Emma Mccabe and Denise Marston-Smith among the division’s top five scorers although they were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat at home to Canterbury two weeks ago.  The remaining tie sees third placed Canterbury host Sutton Coldfield at Polo Farm.  The two last met in 2007 but you would have to go back a decade to find Sutton Coldfield’s last win over Canterbury.  The Kent side pulled themselves to within a point of Olton & West Warwicks with a surprising 5-1 away win in Warwickshire two weekends ago and the two would swap positions if Canterbury beat Sutton and Olton fail to beat Clifton. 

Investec Women’s Conference North
It’s also top versus bottom in Investec Women’s Conference North as leaders Wakefield Bradford host pointless Northampton Saints.  The table toppers stayed ahead of second placed Beeston courtesy of a 7-1 away win at Springfields two weeks ago – a result achieved through six different scorers.  Should the Saints pull off a surprise result in Yorkshire, Beeston, University of Durham and Loughborough Students Ladies are all in a position to take advantage.  Beeston have Jo Hunter to thank for their position after her goal in the 70th minute against Liverpool Sefton earned all three points from a 4-3 victory.  They take on Doncaster away with Doncaster looking to get back to winning ways following a 1-0 defeat to Whitley Bay and Tynemouth that left them sixth, four points off the top.  University of Durham are also on the road following a 2-2 draw with Brooklands Poynton last time out.  They travel to Liverpool Sefton with the aim of keeping a six game unbeaten run going.  Loughborough Students Ladies may sit fourth but they have the best defensive record in Investec Women’s Conference North.  They have conceded just four goals in six games ahead of Saturday’s match against Whitley Bay and Tynemouth.  In the final match in the Conference, Springfields look to rally from that defeat to Wakefield Bradford with an away tie at Brooklands Poynton.

Investec Women’s Conference East
St Albans missed the chance to go top of Investec Women’s Conference East two weeks ago when they could only manage a home draw with lowly Horsham as league leaders Surbiton rescued a point late on against Ipswich.  Surbiton’s Vicky Heptonstall scored the equalising penalty corner two minutes from time after her side had come back from 2-0 down at the break.  St Albans’ draw was all the more surprising given that Zeph Hardy’s ninth minute penalty corner earned Horsham their first point of the season.  Those results mean it’s still level pegging at the top of the table going into the weekend when Surbiton host ninth placed Old Loughtonians and St Albans travel to Kent to play eighth placed Maidstone.  The other Kent side in the Conference, Sevenoaks, are still within touching distance of the top ahead of their trip to Oxford Hawks, for whom Tacita Haines is top scorer with four goals.  Horsham will look to build some momentum having won their first point two weeks ago and they will have a chance against a Harleston Magpies side that has won three, drawn one and lost two of its opening six games.  Another side within striking distance of the top is Ipswich. They play host to a Chelmsford side that has lost nine goals in their two previous away matches this season.

Investec Women’s Conference West
Investec Women’s Conference West leaders Buckingham have enjoyed the best start of all 40 teams in the Investec Women’s Hockey League this season; even better than that of Reading in the Premier Division.  With maximum points from their opening six matches, Buckingham host Gloucester City on Saturday looking for a seventh straight victory.  City go into the match on the back of a 4-1 win over Exe; a result that lifted them above Exe into fourth place.  At the other end of the table things are very tight with just two points separating the four teams from seventh to tenth.  There’s a bottom four clash in Hampshire where Southampton where Trojans in seventh take on ninth placed Staines while their other early competitors Firebrands and Team Bath Buccaneers play Swansea and Barnes Hounslow Ealing respectively.  Defeat to Swansea last time out cost Isca University second place as the Welsh side leapfrogged them.  This week it’s Exe who are Isca’s opponents.  While another leapfrogging could happen if Exe were to win, an eight goal swing would be required for them to overtake Isca in the table by close of play on Saturday.


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