Canterbury face tough Birmingham trip

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THE new leaders in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division, Canterbury head to the University of Birmingham on Saturday as they bid to defend their position.

A one-goal win over former leaders Reading (pictured) was enough to give the Kent side top spot, but Reading are still within striking distance should Canterbury slip up, and Reading entertain bottom of the league Olton and West Warwickshire this weekend.

“It’s fantastic to be top, but it’s not our overall focus at the moment,” said Canterbury coach Jen Wilson. “We’re taking it one game at a time and focusing on key elements of our own game. If we look at other teams too much we lose focus on our own game.

“It’s going to be tough against the University of Birmingham. It was very close when we played them at home earlier in the season, and a lot of their losses have been close too, so we expect a tough game.”

Elsewhere, Leicester will be aiming to preserve their place in the top four when they travel to fifth-placed Bowdon Hightown, who will go above them should they win.

Surbiton play host to strugglers Sutton Coldfield, and will be aiming for another big win to maintain the pressure on the top two.

Clifton could also climb into the top four if they can beat hosts Beeston on Saturday.

Sevenoaks moved up to second in the Investec Conference East last weekend, and they will be aiming to keep up the pressure on leaders Holcombe when they go to St Albans on Saturday. Meanwhile, Holcombe entertain Harleston Magpies.

New leaders in the Investec Conference North, Brooklands Poynton will want to follow up last week’s win over Stourport with a victory over third-placed University of Durham this Saturday. Former leaders Wakefield go to bottom of the table Doncaster.

Slough head to Gloucester City as they aim to preserve their lead in the Investec Conference West, while second-placed Buckingham entertain Barnes and could go top if Slough slip up.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 30 2013):

Investec Premier Division
Beeston v Clifton 12:00
Bowdon Hightown v Leicester 13:45
Reading v Olton & West Warwicks 13:30
Surbiton v Sutton Coldfield 14:00
Univ of Birmingham v Canterbury 12:30

Investec Conference East
East Grinstead v Ipswich 13:30
Holcombe v Harleston Magpies 14:30
Horsham v Chelmsford 13:30
Old Loughtonians v Wimbledon 13:00
St Albans v Sevenoaks 13:00

Investec Conference North
Ben Rhydding v Whitley Bay & Tynemouth 13:30
Brooklands Poynton v Univ of Durham 12:00
Doncaster v Wakefield 12:00
Kendal v Boots 12:30
Loughborough Students v Stourport 12:30

Investec Conference West
Buckingham v Barnes 12:00
Gloucester City v Slough 12:00
Isca v Bristol Firebrands 12:30
Swansea City v Exe 12:00
Trojans v Oxford Hawks 12:00