Bowdon set for Investec Premier Division clash with Reading

Sally Walton Bowdon 450

BOWDON Hightown take on high-flying Reading on Saturday as the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division continues to build to a thrilling culmination.

Reading’s narrow win over Leicester last weekend saw them move up to second spot in the table, while Bowdon Hightown lie fifth, narrowly outside a top four finish which will see them reach the end of season play-offs and a shot at the title.

But Bowdon Hightown are under no illusions about the size of the challenge ahead of them.

“If you look at Reading in the league table and their run of results, it’s obviously going to be tough,” said manager Dieter Hill.

“We’re still aiming to reach the play-offs, and if we can take something out of the game against Reading that will be great.

“After this we’ve got Sutton Coldfield and Clifton, and if things go according to form we should be in the top four.

“But facing Reading is a tough challenge for anyone. It will be a great experience for some of our players to play at a great club like Reading with six or seven Olympic medallists. It’s a learning curve and we’re looking forward to it.”

Meanwhile, Leicester will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat with a double header weekend – Sutton Coldfield on Saturday and Surbiton on Sunday – both at their Leicester Grammar School base.

Fourth-placed Surbiton also face two games in two days, as they tackle play-off rivals Clifton on Saturday before the Leicester clash.

For all three teams, their fortunes this weekend could prove vital to their play-off aspirations. While seemingly too far back, two Clifton wins could spark a late challenge.

Top of the table Canterbury travel to University of Birmingham on Saturday, while in other Premier Division action Olton and West Warwickshire entertain Slough in a match that is vital to both team’s hopes of avoiding relegation.

University of Durham face a crucial weekend of action in the Investec Conference North.

Currently second and three points behind leaders Beeston, they play host to Wakefield Bradford on Saturday and then go to Whitley Bay and Tynemouth on Sunday.

And in the Investec Conference East, second-placed Ipswich travel to third-placed Sevenoaks as they both bid to catch leaders Harleston Magpies, who play Old Loughtonians.

Investec Conference West’s bottom side Taunton Vale could be relegated this weekend if they lose to unbeaten title winners Buckingham and Staines pick up points at home to Isca University.

Tickets for the end of season play-offs, Investec Women’s Finals Weekend, on 20-21 April are on sale now. Find out more and book via

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, March 9 2013)

Investec Premier Division
Olton & West Warwicks v Slough 12:00
Univ of Birmingham v Canterbury 12:30
Leicester v Sutton Coldfield 12:30
Reading v Bowdon Hightown 13:30
Surbiton v Clifton 14:00

Investec Conference East
Harleston Magpies v Old Loughtonians 12:30
Sevenoaks v Ipswich 13:30
Chelmsford v Horsham 14:00
Bromley & Beckenham v Oxford Hawks 14:00
St Albans v Wimbledon 14:15

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

Investec Conference West
Barnes Hounslow Ealing v Swansea City 12:00
Buckingham v Taunton Vale 12:00
Gloucester City v Bristol Firebrands 12:00
Stourport v Trojans 12:00
Staines v Isca University 13:30

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Sunday, March 10 2013)

Investec Premier Division
Leicester v Surbiton 12:30

Investec Conference North
Whitley Bay & Tynemouth v Univ of Durham 11:30