Canterbury prepare for Surbiton battle

Surbiton's Becky Herbert is tracked by Canterbury's Jen Wilson. Credit Tim Reder - 450

First face third in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday as leaders Surbiton travel to third-placed Canterbury.

It’s tight at the top and if Canterbury win, they will go level on points with their opponents. But it’ll be no mean feat with Surbiton still unbeaten in 12 games.

“We know that Surbiton are a strong team and well organised,” said Canterbury coach Jen Wilson. “They may be missing a few players but that won’t weaken them at all.

“We lost our last game to them so we want to turn that around, but it won’t be easy.

“We had a solid display last weekend and I’ve been pleased with the quality of hockey we’ve been playing this week in the match and in training.”

Depending on the outcome of the Surbiton match, the University of Birmingham could go top if they beat strugglers Bowdon Hightown.

They are just one point behind the leaders but lost to them 3-0 last weekend. They’ll be hoping that they can return to form.

Bowdon could do with picking up points; they are three adrift of safety after losing to Canterbury by the odd goal last time out.

Bottom side Buckingham picked up their first win of the season, beating Reading 2-1 and they’ll be hoping to take another step towards survival as they take on Clifton.

Mid-table Holcombe and Reading both lost last weekend and will be aiming to bounce back and revive their push for fourth place as they meet.

East Grinstead currently sit in fourth and will look to cement their position as they travel to Leicester.

In the Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference East, it’s a top of the table clash as runaway leaders Slough take on second-placed St Albans. With an eight-point gap realistically St Albans need a win to keep their title hopes alive.

At the other end of the league, Ipswich continue their search for a first win of the campaign at Wimbledon.

Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference North also sees first take on second as top of the table Wakefield host Brooklands Poynton. Brooklands really need a win to put pressure on the leaders.

In the Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference West, Sutton Coldfield are looking over their shoulders at Stourport who are just one point off their pace.

Sutton Coldfield face fourth-placed Gloucester City and Stourport are away to seventh-placed Trojans.

* The above photo shows Surbiton’s Becky Herbert being tracked by Canterbury player-coach Jen Wilson. Credit: Tim Reder.

FIXTURES – Saturday, February 13

Investec Women’s Hockey League

Investec Premier Division
Buckingham v Clifton 12:00
Holcombe v Reading 12:00
Bowdon Hightown v Univ of Birmingham 13:45
Leicester v East Grinstead 14:00
Canterbury v Surbiton 16:00

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

Investec Conference North
Loughborough Students v Beeston 12:30
Whitley Bay and Tynemouth v Springfields 12:30
Univ of Durham v Ben Rhydding 12:00
Liverpool Sefton v Belper 12:30
Wakefield v Brooklands Poynton 13:30

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

Investec Women’s Cup, quarter finals
Buckingham v Ben Rhydding 12:00
Holcombe v Bowdon Hightown 12:00
Clifton v Univ of Birmingham 12:30
Barnes v Brooklands Poynton 13:00