Buckingham braced for Surbiton test

Buckingham's Amie Hone, Credit Chris Hobson - 450

NEW to the top flight this season, Buckingham face their toughest test yet on Saturday when they head to leaders Surbiton in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Currently second bottom with just one win from their first seven matches, Buckingham have nevertheless shown glimpses of the play which saw them finish top of the Investec Conference West last season.

“We know Surbiton pretty well, having played each other pre-season for the last few years,” said Buckingham Head Coach Zak Jones. “They are a quality side, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.

“It has been a frustrating start for us. We’re competing really well but haven’t taken our chances, and we have to turn some of the good performances into tangible results.”

Second-placed Canterbury head to the University of Birmingham on Saturday, while Clifton – who are third only on goal difference – are also on the road, heading for Bowdon Hightown.

Apart from Surbiton, Holcombe are the only other unbeaten team, and they go to Reading aiming to get back to winning ways after being held to a 1-1 draw by Surbiton a fortnight ago.

Bottom of the table Beeston host Leicester in a match they need to win to avoid being left adrift. A win for Leicester would help them climb into the mid reaches of the table.

The top two sides in the Investec Conference West face off as unbeaten leaders Slough host Swansea, who have lost only once.

Swansea will have to be at their best to cause an upset against a side that have conceded only three goals all season. Meanwhile, third-placed Trojans head to bottom club Olton and West Warwickshire.

Leaders Brooklands Poynton host bottom of the table Cannock in the Investec Conference North. Elsewhere Wakefield could go top if Brooklands do slip up, and they beat hosts Loughborough Students.

In the Investec Conference East only goal difference separates East Grinstead and St Albans. They both play teams from the lower reaches of the league as East Grinstead face Bedford and St Albans travel to Horsham.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 8 2014)

Investec Premier Division
Beeston v Leicester 12:00
University of Birmingham v Canterbury 12:30
Reading v Holcombe 13:30
Bowdon Hightown v Clifton 13:45
Surbiton v Buckingham 14:00

Investec Conference West
Gloucester City v Bristol Firebrands 12:00
Olton and West Warwicks v Trojans 12:00
Oxford Hawks v Isca 12:00
Slough v Swansea City 12:30
Stourport v Cheltenham 18:00

Investec Conference North
Brooklands Poynton v Cannock 12:00
Kendal v University of Durham 12:30
Loughborough Students v Wakefield 12:30
Ben Rhydding v Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 13:30
Sutton Coldfield v Liverpool Sefton 14:00

Investec Conference East
Bedford v East Grinstead 13:00
Harleston Magpies v Sevenoaks 14:00
Horsham v St Albans 14:00
Wimbledon v Chelmsford 14:00
Ipswich v Maidenhead 18:00