East Grinstead beat rivals Clifton Robinsons

East Grinstead Celebrate Lucy Bairner opening goal - credit Peter Smith - 450

East Grinstead beat play-off rivals Clifton Robinsons 2-1 as their bid for the top four gathered pace in the Investec Women’s Premier Division on Saturday.

The two sides started the day level on 25 points along with the University of Birmingham, and it was the visitors who struck first through Lucy Bairner (pictured) after six minutes.

Abigail Porter converted a penalty corner on the stroke of half time to level the scores, but Pippa Chapman restored East Grinstead’s lead seven minutes after the break.

The result sees East Grinstead move up to third, while Clifton Robinsons drop to fifth.

Surbiton are the first team to qualify for next month’s Finals Weekend after a 2-0 home victory over Slough.

Rebecca Middleton and Naomi Evans scored the goals, as Slough continue to look over their shoulder in the battle to avoid the relegation play off.

Holcombe moved to within one win of qualification for the season finale in April after a 4-0 home win over bottom side Reading.

Leah Wilkinson, Leigh Maasdorp and Nicola White made it 3-0 at the break, before Erin Hunter wrapped up the points in the second half.

Reading remain six points adrift at the bottom of the table with just three games to play.

Leicester and the University of Birmingham both remain in the hunt for the top four but had to settle for a share of the spoils after a 1-1 draw.

Rachel Mack’s sixth of the campaign gave Leicester an early lead before Amelia Andrew scored a second half equaliser.

Birmingham moved into the top four with Leicester just two points behind in sixth place.

Canterbury eased their fears of being dragged into the relegation picture with a 3-2 win at Bowdon Hightown.

Goals from Hannah Griggs, Mel Clewlow and Katie Williams gave Canterbury the three points, as Bowden stay ninth in the table.


Investec Women’s Conference East

Wimbledon remain three points clear at the top of the Investec Conference East after a 3-1 home win over Southgate.

The visitors led at the break thanks to a Caitlin Wales goal, but the hosts hit back in the second through Nicola Lloyd, Great Britain Olympic Gold Medallist Crista Cullen and Harriet Naismith.

Lily Elliott converted a hat trick of penalty corners as Sevenoaks won 5-0 against Chelmsford to keep up the chase at the top of the table.

Hampstead and Westminster moved third after an emphatic 9-0 win against bottom club Northampton Saints, Louise Radford and Michelle Borren both scoring hat tricks.

Hannah Macleod scored the fourth hat trick of the day in the Conference East as St Albans defeated West Herts 8-0, Adele Sammons and Kirsty Barber both scored two.

Cambridge City came from behind to defeat Harleston Magpies 2-1, Holly Parsons scoring the winner.


Investec Women’s Conference North

Belper continued their fight for survival in the Investec Conference North as they defeated Timperley 1-0 in the battle of the bottom two.

Sally Goodman scored the game’s only goal as Belper now sit just three points behind Timperley with three games to play.

Brooklands Poynton remain four points clear at the top of the table after a 5-0 win at Wakefield, Helen Turner scoring two.

Paige Gillott scored two as Beeston stay second after a 4-2 away win over Ben Rhydding.

Jane Bazley Harrison hit a hat trick as Liverpool Sefton twice came from behind to draw 3-3 at Sutton Coldfield, whilst Loughborough Students won 1-0 at the University of Durham.


Investec Women’s Conference West

Buckingham shut out Investec Conference West top scorers Stourport, registering a 2-0 away victory to move above them at the top of the table.

The two sides started the day separated only by goal difference, but strikes from Natasha James and Abbie Brant secured what could be a pivotal three points for the visitors.

Buckingham have only conceded seven league goals this season, and now look favourites to qualify for the promotion play offs.

Elsewhere, Sally Walton took her tally for the season to 14 with a brace as Olton and West Warwicks beat Isca 2-1

Joanne Westwood scored twice as Swansea City beat struggling Bristol Firebrands 3-0.

Bottom side Exe moved level with Bristol Firebrands on six points after a 2-2 draw against Oxford Hawks, whilst a single Rachael Rountree goal six minutes from time gave Trojans a 1-0 win over Gloucester City.

* The above photograph shows East Grinstead celebrating a goal against Clifton Robinsons. Credit: Peter Smith.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, March 4, 2017):

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

Investec Women's Conference East: Cambridge City 2, Harleston Magpies 1; Hampstead and Westminster 9, Northampton Saints 0; Sevenoaks 5, Chelmsford 0; St. Albans 8, West Herts 0; Wimbledon 3, Southgate 1.

Investec Women's Conference North: Belper 1, Timperley 0; Ben Rhydding 2, Beeston 4; Sutton Coldfield 3, Liverpool Sefton 3; University of Durham 0, Loughborough Students 1; Wakefield 0, Brooklands Poynton 5.

Investec Women's Conference West: Exe 2, Oxford Hawks 2; Olton & West Warwicks 2, Isca 1; Stourport 0, Buckingham 2; Swansea City 3, Bristol Firebrands 0; Trojans 1, Gloucester City 0.