Leaders Surbiton in winning form as the Investec Women's Premier Division resumes

Liv Back and Georgie Twigg, Leicester v Surbiton. Credit Andrew Smith - 480x320
Surbiton stayed top of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division after edging out Jaffa Super 6s finalists Leicester 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.

Domestic action resumed after the winter break and it took the leaders just ten minutes to find their stride, top scorer Giselle Ansley converting a penalty corner for her fifth strike of the season.

The lead lasted just five minutes though as Elizabeth Honarmand’s goal levelled the scores for the hosts, but it was Surbiton who claimed the points with Hollie Pearne-Webb’s second half effort sending the leaders four points clear in the table.

Two goals from Ruth Gordon helped East Grinstead move second after a 3-1 win at Slough.

Chloe Palmer had given East Grinstead the lead midway through the first half but the hosts were level at the break after Amy Sheehan’s successful penalty stroke.

Gordon starred late on though, scoring two goals in the last 12 minutes to secure all three points for the visitors.

Holcombe lost ground on the leaders after they fell to a 2-1 defeat at newly-crowned Super 6s champions Bowdon Hightown.

Lily Wolstenholme opened the scoring for the hosts eight minutes before half time, before Lisa Garbutt doubled their advantage with a second half penalty corner.

Tanya Britz pulled one back six minutes from time for Holcombe but Bowdon held on to take the points.

Hannah Coulson’s second half goal rescued a point for Clifton Robinsons as they drew 1-1 at home to Canterbury.

Despite being bottom the visitors started the day unbeaten in four and they took the lead on 14 minutes through Penny Squibb’s goal.

However, Coulson’s second of the season 15 minutes into the second half earned Clifton a share of the spoils.

Third-placed Buckingham could close the gap to Surbiton back to two points if they win on the road at the University of Birmingham in Sunday’s match, while the hosts themselves could also go second with maximum points.

Investec Conference East
With leaders Hampstead & Westminster not in action until Sunday, Sevenoaks kept the pressure on at the top of the Investec Conference East after a 5-1 win at Chelmsford.

Cathy Gilliat-Smith, Susie Rowe and Samantha Danckert put the visitors in control at half time, before further goals after the break from Maddie Thompson and Jess Denniff sealed the points.

Fourth-placed Cambridge City picked up a 3-0 away win at Southgate, Charlotte Burrows scored a brace whilst GB Olympic ace Helen Richardson-Walsh was on target for her eighth of the season.

Harleston Magpies took all three points after a 3-1 home victory over Barnes - Emma Lee-Smith, Lauren Rowe and Abby Gooderham all scored for the hosts.

Bedford moved sixth after a 3-2 home win over St Albans, Samantha Turner’s penalty corner five minutes from time turned out to be the winner.

Investec Conference North
Beeston picked up where they left off before the winter break in the Investec Conference North as they beat Wakefield 6-0.

Sophie Robinson and Rosy Stephens scored a goal in each half with Esme Burge and Lauren Burrell both on target as the hosts made it eleven straight wins this season.

Second-placed Brooklands Poynton lost further ground on the leaders after going down 1-0 at home to Loughborough Students, the only goal in the match coming from Sharon Seaton in the second half.

Goals from Tess Howard and Lorna Jane Cruickshank helped the University of Durham to 2-0 victory at Timperley.

Veteran Jane Sixsmith’s eighth of the campaign was the difference as Sutton Coldfield defeated Ben Rhydding 2-1 whilst the conference’s bottom two, Fylde and Liverpool Sefton, clash on Sunday.

Investec Conference West
Trojans remain top of the Investec Conference West after a 1-0 victory at Olton & West Warwicks.

Lauren Anning’s penalty corner 15 minutes from time was the difference as the leaders claimed maximum points to start 2018.

Second-placed Stourport remain second and two points behind Trojans after they also won 1-0 at Gloucester City, Sarah Cavendish with the game’s only goal.

Reading lost ground on the top two after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Team Bath Buccaneers. Sophie Hamilton’s goal on 53 minutes had put the visitors on course for their first win of the season, but Katie Pugh rescued a point for Reading eight minutes from time.

Elsewhere, Swansea City moved fourth after a 3-0 home victory over Oxford Hawks, and Meg Crowson’s fifth of the season helped Isca to a 1-0 win against Cannock.

* The above photo shows Liv Back and Georgie Twigg in action. Credit Andrew Smith.

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