Holcombe book play-off spot

Nic White (right) in action for Holcombe. Credit Andy Smith - 450

TWO goals down at half time, Holcombe battled back in style to take a 3-2 win over Clifton and secure their passage into the League Finals Weekend in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Two goals from Els Mansell had put hosts Clifton into the lead, but after the break Emily Maguire, Nic White and Sarah Jones struck to snatch victory and make sure Holcombe held on to fourth spot.

East Grinstead had high hopes of snatching fourth spot, but they lost out at home 1-2 to relegation-threatened Buckingham.

Kitty Higgins had put bottom of the table Buckingham into the lead, and although Josephine Blunt equalised for East Grinstead on the stroke of half time, Phoebe Richards scored on 51 minutes to give Buckingham only their third league win of the season.

However, with Bowdon Hightown beating Reading 5-3, Buckingham stay bottom and are relegated.

Bowdon’s Hannah Richardson scored early in the game and Lisa Garbutt made it 2-0 on 23 minutes. Helen Richardson-Walsh made it 1-2 at half time with a 26th minute goal for Reading and Susie Gilbert’s 43rd minute goal equalised, but Bowdon went on to win with Lily Wolstenholme scoring on 56 minutes before Sally Walton found the goal on 57 and 65 minutes.

Elsewhere, Canterbury beat the University of Birmingham 2-1 with Jen Wilson and Ainsley McCallister scoring their goals. The two will line-up again in the League Finals Weekend at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on April 16-17.

And Surbiton ended the 18-match regular season unbeaten following a 2-0 win over Leicester, Robyn Collins and Sarah Haycroft scoring their goals.

Investec Women’s Conference East

Maidenhead will have to battle through the relegation play-offs to preserve their National League status after they lost out 1-0 at home to Wimbledon, for whom Emer Hickey scored their goal.

Elsewhere Conference East winners Slough won 6-2 at Chelmsford, while second-placed Cambridge City lost out 3-1 at Harleston Magpies.

Hampstead and Westminster battled out a thrilling 3-3 draw against St Albans with Cressida Grant, Alex Irwin and Annebeth Wijtenburg scored the goals. Meanwhile, Emma Onien scored twice for St Albans and Eleanor Watton scored the other.

Sevenoaks beat relegated Ipswich 4-1 with both Katy Warrington and Maddie Thompson scoring a brace of goals.

Investec Women’s Conference North

Conference North winners Wakefield had to settle for a 1-1 draw at the University of Durham. Georgia Byas gave them the lead early in the second half, only for Anna Baker to level with six minutes remaining.

Rachel Greenwood scored a hat-trick for Springfields, who drew 3-3 with Beeston. Sophie Robinson scored twice and Rosy Stephens once for the visitors.

Brooklands Poynton were 3-1 winners over Liverpool Sefton, while Belper lost out 3-0 at home against Ben Rhydding and Whitley Bay and Tynemouth also lost at home, 2-0 to Loughborough Students.

Investec Women’s Conference West

Trojns made sure of National League survival with a 6-0 win over relegated University of Bristol. Rosie Lickorish and Nyssa Cole both scored twice, while Jenny Peebles and Elizabeth Jenkins also got on the scoresheet.

Stourport were 3-1 winners at Isca, with their goals coming from Hannah Corcoran, Lora Symonds and Lauren Shilvock.

Bristol Firebrands will have to go through the relegation play-offs if they want to preserve their national League status, following a 3-1 defeat at Oxford Hawks.

Elsewhere winners Sutton Coldfield won 3-2 against Olton and West Warwicks, while Swansea City and Gloucester City drew 1-1.

* The above photo shows Holcombe’s Nic White (right). Credit: Andy Smith.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, March 19 2016):

Investec Women's Premier Division: Canterbury 2, University of Birmingham 1; Clifton 2, Holcombe 3; East Grinstead 1, Buckingham 2; Reading 3, Bowdon 5; Surbiton 2, Leicester 0.

Investec Women's Conference East: Chelmsford 2, Slough 6; Hampstead and Westminster 3, St. Albans 3; Harleston Magpies 3, Cambridge City 1; Maidenhead 0, Wimbledon 1; Sevenoaks 4, Ipswich 1.

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

Investec Women's Conference West: Isca 1, Stourport 3; Oxford Hawks 3, Bristol Firebrands 1; Sutton Coldfield 3, Olton & West Warwicks 2; Swansea City 1, Gloucester City 1; Trojans 6, University of Bristol 0.

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