Canterbury face rivals East Grinstead

Canterbury in defensive action against Clifton during the 2015-16 season. Credit Peter Smith - 450

Third-placed Canterbury overtook East Grinstead after the last round of matches in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division, and the two sides face each other this Saturday.

Losing play-off finalists last season, the Kent side won 3-1 a fortnight ago while East Grinstead lost by the same margin and slipped to fourth. With Holcombe hot on their heels, both sides will be desperate for points to maintain their place in the top four.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game,” said Canterbury coach Jen Wilson. “East Grinstead are new to the Premier Division but they have been very successful, so we know it’s going to be a hard test.

“We’re not focusing on the table too much, but it’s interesting to see that some of the teams that have normally been mid-table have done well, and others who might’ve expected to be towards the top are not, so it’s shaping up to be an interesting season.

“I’m content with where we are at. We’re in a strong position, but we want to make sure we power on into Christmas and keep it going.

“We haven’t had a full strength squad so far this season, but it has given a great opportunity to other players to show what they can do.”

In other top-flight action, leaders the University of Birmingham play host to Clifton, while second-placed Surbiton will want to keep pace with Birmingham when they go to Holcombe.

In their search for a first win, Reading are on the road at Bowdon Hightown, while Leicester head to Buckingham who are bidding to climb away from the bottom end of the table.

In the Investec Conference East, leaders Slough take on Chelmsford at Upton Court Road as they aim to get back to winning ways after dropping their first points last time out. And second-placed Cambridge City host Harleston Magpies.

Despite losing their first match a fortnight ago, Wakefield still lead the Investec Conference North. They visit Belper, while the University of Durham will want to preserve second spot when they take on third-placed Loughborough Students in Leicestershire.

New leaders Sutton Coldfield host Gloucester City in the Investec Conference West, while former leaders Swansea City are also at home, against Bristol Firebrands.

* The above photo shows Canterbury in defensive action against Clifton during the 2015-16 season. Credit: Peter Smith.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 7 2015):

Investec Premier Division
Buckingham v Leicester 12:00
Holcombe v Surbiton 12:00
Univ of Birmingham v Clifton 12:30
East Grinstead v Canterbury 13:30
Bowdon Hightown v Reading 13:45

Investec Conference East
Sevenoaks v Maidenhead 17:00
Cambridge City v Harleston Magpies 12:30
St Albans v Hampstead and Westminster 13:00
Slough v Chelmsford 13:00
Ipswich v Wimbledon 14:30

Investec Conference North
Belper v Wakefield 12:00
Loughborough Students v Univ of Durham 12:30
Beeston v Brooklands Poynton 12:00
Liverpool Sefton v Ben Rhydding 12:30
Springfields v Whitley Bay Tynemouth 14:00

Investec Conference West
Swansea City v Bristol Firebrands 12:00
Trojans v Isca 12:00
Olton and West Warwicks v Oxford Hawks 12:00
Univ of Bristol v Stourport 13:00
Sutton Coldfield v Gloucester City 14:00