Surbiton close gap as Birmingham lose

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Surbiton moved to within one point of the University of Birmingham at the top of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division after a 2-0 win over East Grinstead.

Rebecca Middleton and Olivia Chilton were both on target in the first half to give Reading a 2-0 victory as Birmingham slipped to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Reading.

It’s only their second loss of the season and the game was decided by a single goal with Sophie Shakespeare slotting home for Reading after 45 minutes.

Holcombe boosted their chances of securing a play-off spot after a 3-1 win against bottom-of the table Buckingham put them level on points with fourth-placed East Grinstead.

Buckingham took an early lead when Lauren Thomas fired in from a penalty corner in the third minute but Leah Wilkinson levelled for Holcombe and Steph Elliott put them 2-1 in front on the stroke of half time. Leigh Maasdorp secured the points with a third with ten minutes left.

Canterbury stay third after a goal in each half saw them defeat Clifton 2-0. Alice Brown put them ahead on 10 minutes before Lauren Piper doubled their advantage after the break.

In the game between Bowdon Hightown and Leicester, goals from Sally Walton and Lily Wolstenholme gave Bowdon Hightown a 2-0 win after Walton missed a penalty stroke.

Investec Women's Conference East

Cambridge City made the most of a rare Slough defeat to close the gap at the top of the Investec Conference East to nine points.

Slough still top the division despite a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Hampstead and Westminster with Joyce Esser hitting a brace and Jasmine Clark also on target.

Cambridge enjoyed a 5-0 win over Maidenhead with Jo Ellis, Samantha Skelton, Ellie Harrison, Tess Howard and Lucy Holder scoring.

Harleston Magpies beat Ipswich 4-1 and Sevenoaks played out a 3-3 draw with Chelmsford. Wimbledon beat St Albans 1-0.

Investec Women's Conference North

Wakefield are four points clear at the top of the Investec Conference North after a 3-1 win over Belper. Rosie Tootell, Heather Stafford and Cat Horn all scored for Wakefield with Sally Goodman having given Belper the lead.

Loughborough Students took a 4-0 win over the University of Durham and Beeston moved up to second as a Rebecca Walker goal saw them beat Brooklands Poynton 1-0.

Ben Rhydding beat Springfields 2-0 away from home and a single goal from Rowan Rochester was enough to hand Whitley Bay and Tynemouth a 1-0 win over Liverpool Sefton.

Investec Women's Conference West

The University of Bristol are relegated from the Investec Conference West after losing 3-2 to city rivals Bristol Firebrands. Abi Porter scored the winning goal on 65 minutes.

With just one win and three points, they can no longer catch Olton and West Warwicks. Olton managed to pick up a point on their travels, drawing 2-2 with second in the table Stourport.

That means that Sutton Coldfield have a three-point lead at the top after a 3-2 win over Isca. Sarah Parkinson-Mills was the star of the show, scoring twice. Gloucester City beat Trojans 3-1 and Oxford Hawks drew 1-1 with Swansea City.

* The above photo shows Surbiton celebrating a goal. Credit: Andy Smith.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, February 27 2016):

Investec Women’s Premier Division: Canterbury 2, Clifton 0; Buckingham 1, Holcombe 3; University of Birmingham 0, Reading 1; East Grinstead 0, Surbiton 2; Bowdon Hightown 2, Leicester 0.

Investec Women's Conference East: Hampstead and Westminster 3, Slough 0; Sevenoaks 3, Chelmsford 3; Maidenhead 0, Cambridge City 5; Wimbledon 1, St Albans 0; Harleston Magpies 4, Ipswich 1.

Investec Women's Conference North: Brooklands Poynton 0, Beeston 1; University of Durham 0, Loughborough Students 4; Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 1, Liverpool Sefton 0; Wakefield 3, Belper 1; Springfields 0, Ben Rhydding 2.

Investec Women's Conference West: Oxford Hawks 1, Swansea City 1; Trojans 1, Gloucester City 3; Isca 2, Sutton Coldfield 3; University of Bristol 2, Bristol Firebrands 3; Stourport 2, Olton and West Warwicks 2.

League Finals weekend now on sale

The next big event in the club calendar is the League Finals Weekend on the 16th and 17th April – this year the Men’s and Investec Women’s Hockey Leagues Finals and playoffs are combined into one action-packed weekend at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre so drama is guaranteed!

League Finals Weekend tickets are on sale now www.englandhockey.co.uk/tickets. Knockout Finals tickets will also go on sale soon on this page.