Final play-off spot still not sealed

Kim Leiper in action for Holcombe 450


The race for the final play-off spot in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division will go right down to the wire with both Holcombe and East Grinstead taking impressive victories on Saturday

Holcombe beat the University of Birmingham 3-1 thanks to goals from Leigh Maasdorp, Emily Maguire and Sarah Jones, while Erica Sanders scored for the students.

East Grinstead are still very much in the hunt for that fourth spot after an impressive 3-2 win over second-placed Canterbury. They led 3-0 at the break with goals from Alice Pyrgos, Sophie Bray and Josephine Blunt.

Dirkie Chamberlain set up a tense final with two late goals for Canterbury but East Grinstead held on and are two points behind Holcombe going into the final games of the regular season.

They will have to wait until next weekend to see who clinches a spot at the League Finals Weekend at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London on April 16-17.

At the bottom of the table, Buckingham are putting up a real fight and could avoid automatic relegation with victory in their final game. They faced Bowdon Hightown, just one place above them and came out with a 2-1 win.

Zoe Shipperley put Buckingham ahead only for Tina Cullen to level for the home side a minute later. But Alyson Billington scored five minutes later to bag the win.

Surbiton top the table and took a 1-0 win against Reading, Jenna Woolven scoring the only goal of the game. Reading could have equalised late on but Emma Thomas missed a penalty stroke.

Leicester’s hopes of going to the League Finals Weekend are gone but they still put on a good performance to beat Clifton 6-2. Nikki Laybourne scored twice and other goals came from Emily Kilner, Katie Long, Liz George and Holly Payne. Els Mansell and Claire Thomas were on target for Clifton.

Investec Women’s Conference East

Maidenhead have given themselves hope of avoiding the relegation play-offs with a shock 3-2 win over Investec Women’s Conference East champions Slough.

Jane Smith scored twice and Alison Lubbock claimed the winner to keep them within touching distance of Chelmsford who lost 3-0 to Cambridge City. Tess Howard hit a brace.

Sevenoaks beat St Albans 1-0 with a goal from Maddie Thompson and Wimbledon also took a 1-0 win over Harleston Magpies courtesy of a Rosie Macpherson. Hampstead and Westminster were 5-0 winners at Ipswich, with Joyce Esser scoring two.

Investec Women’s Conference North

Wakefield were crowned champions of the Investec Women’s Conference North after a 3-1 win over Whitley Bay and Tynemouth.

Cat Horn, Heather Stafford and Emma Berry scored the goals that see them move out of the reach of Ben Rhydding. Whitley Bay and Tynemouth will take part in relegation play-offs.

Springfields face relegation after losing 2-0 to Liverpool Sefton. Ben Rhydding won 3-0 over Brooklands Poynton with two goals from Jo Ellis and one from Laura Smith.

Ellie Tait scored twice in Loughborough Students’ 4-0 win over Belper and Beeston beat the University of Durham 5-1 with Sophie Robinson grabbing a brace. In the evening match, Stourport and Oxford Hawks drew 2-2.

Investec Women’s Conference West

Sutton Coldfield took the title in the Investec Women’s Conference West after a 1-1 draw with Swansea. Jennifer Parkinson-Mills scored the all-important goal for Sutton Coldfield.

The University of Bristol were long-since relegated and there was no let-up for them as they lost 8-1 to Isca. Megan Crowson starred with four of the goals.

Trojans and Bristol Firebrands are level on points going into the final game and one of them will face relegation play-offs.

They both lost with Trojans getting beaten 3-0 by Olton and West Warwicks and Firebrands losing 1-0 to Gloucester City.

* The above photo shows Holcombe’s Kim Leiper. Credit: Andy Smith.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, March 12 2016):

 

Investec Women's Premier Division: Holcombe 3, University of Birmingham 1; Clifton 2, Leicester 6; Reading 0, Surbiton 1; Bowdon Hightown 1, Buckingham 2; Canterbury 2, East Grinstead 3.

Investec Women's Conference East: Cambridge City 3, Chelmsford 0; Slough 2, Maidenhead 3; St Albans 0, Sevenoaks 1; Wimbledon 1, Harleston Magpies 0; Ipswich 0, Hampstead and Westminster 5.

Investec Women's Conference North: Beeston 5, University of Durham 1; Loughborough Students 4, Belper 0; Liverpool Sefton 2, Springfields 0; Ben Rhydding 3, Brooklands Poynton 0; Wakefield 3, Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 1.

Investec Women's Conference West: Swansea City 1, Sutton Coldfield 1; Gloucester City 1, Bristol Firebrands 0; Olton and West Warwicks 3, Trojans 0; Isca 8, University of Bristol 1; Stourport 2, Oxford Hawks 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.

Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy to be hosted by England Hockey

England Hockey has just announced that it will be hosting the men’s Hockey Champions Trophy this June. Read more about it here. Tickets for the event go on sale on Tuesday 15 March at www.englandhockey.co.uk or www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk