Surbiton beat East Grinstead to pull clear of the chasing pack

Nat Wray celebrates winner for Bowdon Hightown against Leicester. Credit Andy Smith
Defending champions Surbiton moved four points clear at the top of the Investec Women’s Premier Division after an important 2-0 victory at East Grinstead on Saturday.

The sides started the day as the top two but it was visitors who took the lead midway through the first half, Emily Atkinson converting a penalty corner.

Surbiton doubled their lead four minutes before the break through Emily Defroand, a lead that they would hang onto making it three wins on the bounce.

Bowdon claimed their first win in six after a last gasp 2-1 victory at Leicester to pull away from the bottom of the table.

Natalie Wray (pictured) opened the scoring on eight minutes, a lead that Bowdon held until seven minutes from time when Kathryn Lane’s penalty corner looked to have rescued the hosts a point.

It was Wray who had the final say, doubling her and Bowdon’s tally with a penalty corner with a minute to play to send the visitors home with all three points.

Buckingham moved second in the table after a 3-2 win at home to Clifton Robinsons.

Lauren Thomas struck first for Buckingham on 29 minutes, only to see her effort cancelled out by Abigail Porter two minutes later. But the hosts would still go into the break ahead, Eloise Laity restoring the lead a minute later.

Natasha Marke-Jones again restored parity in the second half for Clifton but again they were level for just one minute, Natasha James’ second of the season securing the points.

Erica Sanders scored the only goal of the game whilst Katherine Somerville kept a clean sheet to help send the University of Birmingham third after a 1-0 win at Slough.

Meanwhile, Canterbury picked up only their second point this term, coming from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Holcombe.

Both goals came in the second half, Eleanor Watton scoring for the visitors and 15-year-old Aimee Plumb hitting the equaliser for Canterbury, leaving Holcombe to settle for their fourth draw of the season.

Investec Conference East
Hampstead & Westminster eased to a 6-0 victory at home to Harleston Magpies to stay top of the Investec Conference East on goal difference.

Leading 2-0 at the break through Emily Maguire and Annabel Driver, the hosts took control after the break, goals from Lauren Turner (2), Annebeth Wijtenburg and Jasmine Clark sealing the win.

Sevenoaks join the leaders with a 100% record after coming from behind to beat St Albans 2-1, Maddie Thompson striking the winner.

Great Britain’s 2016 Olympic Gold Medal winners were in fine form on Saturday, Crista Cullen scoring four to move into double figures for the campaign as Wimbledon dispatched Chelmsford 9-0, whilst Helen Richardson-Walsh hit a double in Cambridge City’s 5-1 win over Southgate.

Meanwhile, Rachel Jackson converted a last-minute penalty corner as Bedford won 2-1 at Barnes for their first victory since the opening day of the season.

Investec Conference North
Beeston stretched their winning streak at the start of the Investec Conference North season to seven games after a 2-1 victory at home Ben Rhydding.

Alice Huddleston and Sophie Robinson both scored in the space of four first half minutes and despite Kelly Baxter pulling one back for Ben Rhydding with 10 minutes to play, the hosts held on.

Brooklands Poynton remain hot on the leaders heels after a 4-2 win at Timperley, Annie Mills scoring a brace for the visitors to take her tally for the season to seven.

Loughborough Students picked up their first points of the season with a 2-0 win at Wakefield - Annabel Sams and Cerys Miller on target - whilst a Tess Howard double helped lift the University of Durham to a 3-0 win over Sutton Coldfield.

Liverpool Sefton had fallen to the foot of the table after Saturday's results but they beat Fylde 2-1 the next day to move up two places.

Investec Conference West
Trojans stayed top of the Investec Conference West after an impressive 4-0 win at Stourport.

The two sides were separated by just two points at the start of the day but second half strikes from Jill Tombs, Emma Teague, Jenny Peebles and Hannah Leigh gave the visitors victory.

Sophie Shakespeare hit a first half brace as Reading stay a point behind the leaders after a 2-1 win at Isca.

Two goals in seven minutes for Jodie Beddow and Esme Gibson helped Cannock make it back to back wins with a 2-0 triumph at Olton & West Warwicks.

Elsewhere, Abi Flory scored the winner as Oxford Hawks won 2-1 at strugglers Team Bath Buccaneers whilst Swansea City defeated Gloucester City by the same scoreline.

* The above photo shows Nat Wray celebrating her winner for Bowdon Hightown against Leicester. Credit Andy Smith

* Full results, tables and fixtures from the Investec Women’s Hockey League are available here.