Reading women beat Bowdon Hightown to bolster play-off ambitions

Alex Danson 450

Reading took a big step towards securing their play off place with a 2-1 victory over fifth-placed Bowdon Hightown in the Investec Women’s Premier Division on Saturday.

Reading got off to a perfect start as Kate Walsh powered home from a short corner. But Bowdon Hightown hit back before the break through Sally Walton, setting up a tense second half.

It was GB Olympic ace Alex Danson (pictured) who scored the all-important winner just two minutes after the restart. It boosted Reading’s play-off hopes, but left Bowdon’s chances clinging by a thread.

League leaders Canterbury rolled out another superb performance with a 5-1 win at University of Birmingham. It was the usual suspects on target for Canterbury with Eliza Brett and Jade Mayne both helping themselves to two goals, while Sarah Kerly grabbed the other.

Leicester made sure they didn’t let up in their battle for the play-off as they fired seven goals past Sutton Coldfield.

Julia Karwatzky was the star of the show as she clipped in three goals from short corners. Katie Long found the target twice and Leicester are now second in the league on goal difference.

On Sunday, Leicester had another match and won again, this time their opponents were Surbiton. The win puts them just one point off top spot and boosts their play-off hopes.

Surbiton drew 3-3 with Clifton but are still in a strong position to qualify for the play-offs as they also play on Sunday.

At the bottom of the table, Slough dug deep to claim their first win of the season thanks to two goals from Amy Turnbull which helped them win 3-1 over fellow strugglers Olton and West Warwickshire.

It means Slough live to fight another day, but are still favourites to go down.

Harleston Magpies still top the Investec Conference East after a 2-0 win over Old Loughtonians. Beeston are still storming away with the Investec Conference North with Hollie Webb cracking three goals to take her total for the season to 10.

And in the Investec Conference West Buckingham remain unbeaten with their latest win, an 8-0 hiding of Taunton Vale. They have now scored 54 goals and only conceded seven.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (March 9 2013):

Investec Premier Division: Olton and West Warwickshire 1, Slough 3; University of Birmingham 1, Canterbury 5; Leicester 7, Sutton Coldfield 2; Reading 2, Bowdon Hightown 1; Surbiton 3, Clifton 3.

Investec Conference East: Harleston Magpies 2, Old Loughtonians 0; Sevenoaks 2, Ipswich 1; Bromley and Beckenham 2, Oxford Hawks 0; Chelmsford 0, Horsham 3; St Albans 1, Wimbledon 2.

Investec Conference North: Loughborough Students 7, Liverpool Sefton 0; Ben Rhydding 1, Whitley Bay & Tynemouth 3; Brooklands Poynton 2, Cannock 1; University of Durham 0, Wakefield 1; Beeston 4, Doncaster 0.

Investec Conference West: Stourport 2, Trojans 1; Gloucester 2, Bristol Firebrands 0; Barnes Hounslow Ealing 1, Swansea 0; Buckingham 8, Taunton Vale 0; Staines 0, Isca 6.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (March 10 2013):

Investec Premier Division: Leicester 3, Clifton 1.

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

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 core activities in the UK, South Africa and Australia, employing approximately 7300 employees.

Investec focuses on delivering distinctive profitable solutions for its clients in three core areas of activity, namely Specialist Banking, Wealth & Investment and Asset Management.