Investec Women's Hockey League Preview

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Both of the clubs with 100% records - Reading and Buckingham - dropped points last weekend, showing just how competitive the Investec Women's Hockey League can be.  Bradford Wakefield lost the lead to Beeston in Investec Women's Conference North where the top five sides are separated by just two points and while in Investec Women's Conference East Surbiton and St Albans are still neck and neck at the top of the table.

Will this weekend top last weekend for goals scored? A total of 97 goals went in across the 20 matches with the Investec Women's Premier Division supplying 35 of them.

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

Visit the Investec Women's Hockey League section of the website and sign up to our weekly league newsletter.

Investec Women’s Premier Division
Having recorded what to many was a surprise victory over then unbeaten league leaders Reading last weekend, a Leicester side on the up are also involved in the stand-out fixture of this weekend.  Sitting second thanks to the Crista Cullen inspired win over the Blues, the girls in orange head to third placed Canterbury on Saturday.  A Leicester victory on the road would give them breathing space in second but a Canterbury win would see the two switch places again.  At the bottom, there is a big match for Cannock, who sit tenth.  They host ninth place Sutton Coldfield, who scored a valuable three points over Clifton last weekend thanks to Vicky Woolford’s goal three minutes from time sealed a 4-3 win. Cannock already sit nine points behind Sutton, who are just a point off all three sides above them; University of Birmingham, Bowdon Hightown and Slough. 

Slough scored an impressive five goals away at Olton & West Warwickshire last Saturday with Sarah Kerly netting twice in a 5-2 win.  There could well be goals goals goals in Berkshire this weekend when Slough welcome Bowdon Hightown.  The Cheshire club won an incredible match against University of Birmingham 7-4 last week so it might be wise for defences on both sides to expect a busy day.  University of Birmingham are at home to Clifton this weekend.  Despite losing to Sutton Coldfield the Bristol side is still fourth in the table and will take heart from coming back to 3-3 from 3-0 down, before eventually losing last weekend.  Finally, Investec Women’s Premier Division leaders Reading – still top by five points despite defeat to Leicester – host Olton & West Warwickshire on Sunday.  Reading will be hoping to bounce back strongly following their first defeat in nearly a year.
 
Investec Women’s Conference North
It could hardly be much tighter in Investec Women’s Conference North following last weekend’s results.  With Beeston and Loughborough waiting in the wings Wakefield Bradford knew how costly dropped points at Brooklands Poynton could be.  And so it proved, although perhaps it could have been worse.  Although Brooklands Poynton won 2-1, Beeston and Loughborough Students’ 2-2 draw mean that only two points separates the top five teams. Beeston go into their away trip at lowly Northampton Saints as the new Conference leaders, ahead of Wakefield Bradford on goal difference.  Bradford Wakefield host sixth place Whitley Bay & Tynemouth on Saturday.  It’s third versus fifth in the clash between Loughborough Students Ladies and University of Durham.  Cherry Seaborn’s hat-trick last weekend continued the students’ unbeaten run, extending it to seven matches.

Brooklands Poynton, who have made the top four with their victory over Wakefield Bradford, are at eighth place Liverpool Sefton.  Springfields, level with Liverpool Sefton on four points following their 2-2 all draw last weekend, are at Doncaster.

Investec Women’s Conference East
It’s all square at the top of the Investec Women’s Conference East where Surbiton remain on top following a 4-1 home victory over Oxford Hawks, presided over by umpire David ‘Tex’ Lane in his 300th match.  However, St Albans have kept up the pressure and are second on goal difference only after they also won; 2-1 at home to Ipswich.  This week sees Surbiton travel to Harleston Magpies, who are fifth after their 3-0 defeat at Sevenoaks. St Albans are also away from home at Old Loughtonians, who sit ninth, just a point above bottom club Horsham. Horsham returned to the foot of the table after two good results as they lost 2-1 at Maidstone.  They host third placed Sevenoaks on Saturday.  The Kent side sits four points off the top two and will be eager to close the gap with the help of their Conference top scorer Lucy Wood.  There wasn’t a single away win in Investec Women’s Conference East last weekend but Maidstone and Chelmsford will be looking to change that.  Maidstone, in eighth, travel to Suffolk where they face an Ipswich side losing ground on the top three and Chelmsford are in Oxford to play Oxford Hawks.  With just one point and one position separating Hawks in sixth and Chelmsford in seventh it could be a close fought thing.

Investec Women’s Conference West
Last weekend in Investec Women’s Conference West, Isca University did what no other side has managed to do this season and that was take points off early season title chargers Buckingham.  The fact that Reading lost in the Investec Women’s Premier Division could have left Buckingham as the only side in the entire Investec Women’s Hockey League with a 100% record but Conference top scorer Claire Thomas did the damage with a hat-trick for Isca in the 4-4 draw.  Buckingham remain top, four points clear of second placed Swansea, and this weekend host Exe, in fourth.  Exe lost 2-0 at home to Swansea last weekend and will be at risk of falling further behind with just three points separating them and eighth place Firebrands.  Isca, in third, are at ninth placed Team Bath Buccaneers on Saturday where yet again all eyes will be on Thomas.  Bath’s 0-0 draw at Gloucester City pulled them off the bottom as Staines fell beneath them after losing to Firebrands.  In what is proving to be a very tight middle order, Firebrands’ six away goals at Staines put them onto eight points but within four of Isca in third.  They host Barnes Hounslow Ealing while just above them Trojans are at home to Gloucester City.

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Investec LogoAbout Investec, sponsor of the Investec Women's Hockey League
Investec 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 team, the Investec Women’s Hockey League, 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