Birmingham Uni face Holcombe

Univ of Birmingham's Abi Porter tracks Leicester's Kerry Whitehead, Sept 13 2014, credit Andy Smith - 450


AFTER narrowly losing to league leaders Surbiton last weekend, the University of Birmingham continue their push for a play-off spot when they host rivals Holcombe in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.

Both teams are still in with a realistic chance of finishing in the top four and securing a place at the Finals Weekend, which this year is being held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

Three of the four play-off places have already been claimed, but several other teams are gunning for the last spot.

“It’s going to be tough for us, but it’s nice to be chasing for the play-offs instead of looking down the table and worrying about relegation,” said University of Birmingham coach Phil Gooderham.

“All the teams going for the play-offs are good sides, there are no easy games at this level. But I’m really pleased with how the girls have worked this year, they’ve stepped up massively.”

After holding Holcombe to a draw last weekend, Leicester are at home again as they chase the final play-off spot. They play ninth-placed Bowdon Hightown who are desperate to avoid relegation.

Reading are currently fifth and play host to third-placed Canterbury on Sunday as they look to keep their hopes of reaching the Finals Weekend alive.

Beeston’s bid to climb off the bottom of the table continues as they entertain leaders Surbiton at Highfields on Saturday, while Buckingham are also desperate for points to avoid the drop as they play second-placed Clifton at Stowe School.

In the Investec Conference West, leaders Slough head to second-placed Swansea City on Saturday in a crucial game for both team’s promotion hopes. Slough also travel to Stourport on Sunday to replay their match that was postponed a fortnight ago.

Sevenoaks head to St Albans as they continue to hunt down leaders East Grinstead in the Investec Conference East. Eight points behind, Sevenoaks ideally need their rivals to drop points at Ipswich on Saturday.

Former leaders Brooklands Poynton lost out at Ben Rhydding in the Investec Conference North last weekend, and will want to get back to winning ways when they go to the University of Durham on Saturday. Meanwhile, leaders Wakefield are at home against Sutton Coldfield.


* The above file photo shows the University of Birmingham's Abi Porter (left) in action against Leicester. Credit Andy Smith.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, February 28 2015)

Investec Premier Division
Beeston v Surbiton 12:00
Buckingham v Clifton 12:00
Univ of Birmingham v Holcombe 12:30
Leicester v Bowdon Hightown 14:00

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

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

Investec Conference East
St Albans v Sevenoaks 13:00
Maidenhead v Chelmsford 13:30
Harleston Magpies v Bedford 14:00
Ipswich v East Grinstead 14:00
Wimbledon v Horsham 14:00

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Sunday, March 1 2015)

Investec Premier Division
Reading v Canterbury 14:30

Investec Conference West
Stourport v Slough 10:30

Investec Women’s Finals Weekend: 18-19 April 2015

Tickets to the dramatic conclusion of the Investec Women’s Hockey League are now on sale. This showpiece event has relocated to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the fantastic new venue of our international fixtures.

The Finals weekend will see England’s top women’s clubs compete for glory in the showpiece finale to the domestic leagues. Also on display will be the promotion tournaments where 9th place in the Premier Division battles it out against the winners of the three regional Conferences for two spots in the Premier Division for 2015/16. For full details click here.

Advance tickets cost from £17.50 for adults and just £5 for U18s. Weekend tickets are also available from £22.50 for adults and £8 for U18s.

EXCITING CASH-BACK SCHEME FOR CLUBS

England Hockey launches a new cash-back scheme for affiliated clubs, available for the NOW: Pensions Men's Finals Weekend, Investec Women's Finals Weekend and Nations Cup this April. Click here for more information.