Sanders double helps Birmingham sink Bowdon

Erica Sanders celebrates opening goal 450

Erica Sanders ensured the University of Birmingham got off to a winning start in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division by scoring a brace in their 4-1 win over Bowdon Hightown.

Birmingham came out of the blocks quickly, stunning Bowdon with three early goals. Sanders scored either side of a Holly Hunt strike to see them lead 3-0 after 15 minutes.

Tara Melvin pulled one back for the visitors on the stroke of half time but Ameila Andrew sealed the win for the students with ten minutes remaining.

Emma Trunks scored a last-minute equaliser for Holcombe as they held reigning champions Surbiton to a 2-2 draw. With no score in the first half, Rebecca Titmuss brought the game to life with a goal for Holcombe on 37 minutes.

Goals from Jo Hunter and Robyn Collins gave Surbiton the lead but Trunks pounced from a corner to tie the game.

Clifton Robinsons also took a convincing win, beating Canterbury 3-0. Jessica Bloom found the mark from a penalty corner before Claire Thomas and Laura Bridge added to the scoring after the break.

Goals from Zoe Burrell and Pippa Chapman saw East Grinstead beat Reading 2-0. Leicester and Slough played out a goalless draw.

Investec Women's Conference East

Jen Wilson and Jess Denniff scored two goals apiece as Sevenoaks beat St Albans 5-0 in the Investec Conference East.

Harleston Magpies also hit five, running out 5-2 winners away at West Herts, with Lucy Whiting, Victoria Findlay and Kara Kilbourn all on target in the first half.

Second half goals for Tamsyn Naylor and Laura Bevan saw Wimbledon come from behind to claim a 2-1 victory at Hampstead and Westminster.

Southgate and Cambridge City could not be separated after an entertaining 3-3 draw.

Chelmsford also had to settle for a draw at Northampton Saints, a late Caroline McCabe goal securing a point for the hosts.

Investec Women's Conference North

Last season’s Investec Conference North winners Wakefield lost out 4-1 to Ben Rhydding in their opening match of the new season.

Laura Smith scored twice for the visitors, while Tanisha Janzen and Beth Cordukes were also on target.

Brooklands Poynton secured a 4-0 win at Loughborough Students with Ellen Lockhart scoring two, while Beeston took all three points with a 3-1 victory over Sutton Coldfield.

Belper were defeated at home 2-0 by the University of Durham and Timperley scored two minutes from time to earn a point in a 2-2 draw against Liverpool Sefton.

Investec Women's Conference West

Two goals from Kim Pullen helped Gloucester City beat newly-promoted Exe 4-1 in the Investec Conference West. Jessica Thomas and Samantha Roberts were also on target for the home side.

Last season’s runners up Stourport kicked off the new campaign with a 2-1 victory at Oxford Hawks.

A brace of penalty corner goals for Jill Tombs saw Trojans come from behind to take the points with a 3-2 win at Isca.

Elsewhere, Olton and West Warwicks ran out convincing 4-1 winners over Bristol Firebrands, whilst relegated Buckingham were held to a 1-1 draw away at Swansea City.

The above photo shows Erica Sanders celebrating the opening goal for the University of Birmingham. Credit: Andy Smith.


Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, September 17 2016):

Investec Women’s Premier Division: Clifton Robinsons 3, Canterbury 0; East Grinstead 2, Reading 0; Holcombe 2, Surbiton 2; Leicester 0, Slough 0; University of Birmingham 4, Bowdon 1.

Investec Women's Conference East: Hampstead and Westminster 1, Wimbledon 2; Northampton Saints 1, Chelmsford 1; Sevenoaks 5, St. Albans 0; Southgate 3, Cambridge City 3; West Herts 2, Harleston Magpies 5.

Investec Women's Conference North: Beeston 3, Sutton Coldfield 1; Belper 0, University of Durham 2; Liverpool Sefton 2, Timperley 2; Loughborough Students 0, Brooklands Poynton 4; Wakefield 1, Ben Rhydding 4.

Investec Women's Conference West: Gloucester City 4, Exe 1; Isca 2, Trojans 3; Olton & West Warwicks 4, Bristol Firebrands 1; Oxford Hawks 1, Stourport 2; Swansea City 1, Buckingham 1.