Premier Division dreams at stake in Nottingham

Charlene Mason celebrates a Bowdon Hightown goal. Credit Andy Smith - 450

The Men’s and Investec Women’s Hockey League Play-offs enjoyed a sunny first round of matches at the Nottingham Hockey Centre with wins for Sevenoaks and Canterbury men and Bowdon Hightown and Wimbledon women.

In the women’s tournament Bowdon Hightown took a step towards retaining their Premier Division status with a 2-1 win over West Conference winner Buckingham.

Charlene Mason gave Bowdon a 1-0 half time lead which was doubled by Nat Wray in the 47th minute. Kirsty Freshwater pulled a goal back for Buckingham a minute later but were unable to find the equaliser, including an overtime penalty corner they could not convert.

Wimbledon beat Brooklands Poynton by the same score in the second game. Well executed corners from Crista Cullen and Kate Harris saw the teams level at half time before a close range deflection from Rose Winter earned the three points for Wimbledon.

Sevenoaks got the men’s competition underway with a 3-2 win over Team Bath Buccaneers.

George Torry and Duncan Parnis put the Kent side 2-1 up after a quarter of an hour. A Peter Scott goal halved the deficit but Andrew Ross converted a corner close to the break to make it 3-1 in Sevenoaks favour. Matthew Boote made it 3-2 but Bath couldn’t find an equaliser from the remaining 20 minutes.

Premier Division Canterbury also helped their chances of avoiding the drop beating Durham University 4-1. Durham actually opened the scoring through Charlie Stubbings but two open play goals in a minute just before the break from Harry Roberts and James Oates turned the game round.

In the second half a great Josh Pollard backhand put Canterbury 3-1 ahead and he then turned provider with a through ball that Will Heywood took round the keeper to see Canterbury take command and run out 4-1 winners.

The tournament concludes at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in a fortnight’s time alongside the league finals. To buy tickets for the event click here

* Above photo shows Charlene Mason celebrating a Bowdon Hightown goal. Credit Andy Smith.