Clifton relishing Leicester challenge

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Top of the table Clifton take on reigning Champions Leicester in what promises to be the pick of the matches in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.

The Bristolians will travel to Leicester Grammar School aiming to notch up a third straight win, but their hosts could field a team laced with GB internationals and intent on bouncing back from last weekend’s disappointing draw with Bowdon Hightown.

But Clifton captain Fleur Horner remained upbeat about their chances, and said: “I think the pressure is mainly on Leicester in this match. Everybody will be looking to see which of their stars will be playing and which won’t, but we haven’t had quite so much upheaval with players coming and going.

“We will be looking for a strong team performance. Our core 12 is relatively unchanged from last year, so we are solid in terms of our patterns of play.”

Second-placed Surbiton are also unbeaten so far and they take on Olton and West Warwickshire who are yet to win a match. The Division’s other unbeaten team, Canterbury go to Sutton Coldfield in search of another victory (see photo from last season’s clash).

Bowdon Hightown take on the University of Birmingham in Saturday’s other match, while Slough host Reading on Sunday.

In the Investec Women’s Conference East, Sevenoaks are the only team left with a perfect record after the first two weeks, and they will be aiming to keep their position at the top of the table when they travel to Banbury Road to take on Oxford Hawks on Saturday.

Third last season, St Albans were the side beaten by Sevenoaks last weekend and they play host to Horsham, but they will be aiming to replicate the form they showed in a big opening day 6-2 win over Chelmsford.

The only two teams with perfect records in the Investec Women’s Conference North, Beeston and University of Durham do battle this Saturday at Maiden Castle.

And leaders Gloucester City meet third-placed Barnes Hounslow Ealing in the Investec Women’s Conference West on Saturday, while Buckingham are also unbeaten and they play Staines at home.


Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, September 29 2012)

Investec Premier Division
Bowdon Hightown v University of Birmingham 15:00
Leicester v Clifton 12:30
Olton & West Warwickshire v Surbiton 12:00
Sutton Coldfield v Canterbury 14:00
(Sun) Slough v Reading 14:00

Investec Conference East
Bromley & Beckenham v Harleston Magpies 14:45
Ipswich v Old Loughtonians 14:00
Oxford Hawks v Sevenoaks 12:00
St Albans v Horsham 14:15
Wimbledon v Chelmsford 15:00

Investec Conference North
Brooklands Poynton v Doncaster 12:00
Cannock v Liverpool Sefton 12:00
University of Durham v Beeston 12:00
Wakefield Bradford v Ben Rhydding 13:30
Whitley Bay & Tynemouth v Loughborough Students 12:30

Investec Conference West
Buckingham v Staines 12:00
Gloucester City v Barnes Hounslow Ealing 12:00
Isca v Taunton Vale 12:00
Stourport v Bristol Firebrands 12:00
Trojans v Swansea City 12:00