Battling Canterbury hold Surbiton to a draw

Leicester's Rachael Mack and Buckingham scorer Eloise Laity. Credit Andrew Smith - 480x320
Bottom of the table Canterbury held leaders Surbiton to a 1-1 draw in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division as their battle to avoid relegation continued.

Canterbury, who have now drawn six of their 12 games so far this season, opened the scoring through Grace Balsdon in the 23rd minute, only for Rebecca Middleton to tie the scores after the break.

Elsewhere Leicester staged a late comeback to draw 2-2 with hosts Buckingham. The visitors looked finished as Abbie Brant and Eloise Laity’s first half strikes saw Buckingham lead 2-0 with just three minutes left to play.

But Nikki Laybourne and then Kathryn Lane struck in quick succession to rescue a point for Leicester. The result keeps Buckingham in the hunt for a top four place, while Leicester remain second from bottom.

The University of Birmingham are in second spot after a narrow 1-0 defeat of Bowdon Hightown. Erica Sanders was their saviour, slotting home after just five minutes.

Two other sides with play-off hopes, Holcombe and East Grinstead, faced off and it was the former who moved up to third with a 1-0 win.

The contest looked to be heading for a goalless draw but Joanne Westwood struck from a penalty corner in the last few seconds of the game to snatch the points.

Meanwhile just a point separates Clifton Robinsons and Slough in the table and they cancelled each other out as they met, drawing 0-0.

Investec Conference North
Beeston needed a late comeback against Ben Rhydding to maintain their 100% record this season and stay top of the Investec Women’s Conference North.

Ben Rhydding led 2-1 with six minutes remaining thanks to goals from Rachael Doherty and Kate Wood. But Paige Gillott and Caroline Hulme found the net to snatch a 3-2 victory for Beeston.

Earlier in the day Brooklands Poynton kept their title hopes alive with their ninth win of the season, a 2-0 defeat of Timperley with goals from Sophia Crawshay and Annie Mills.

Emma McCabe scored a brace as Sutton Coldfield beat Liverpool Sefton 3-2, with Jane Bazley-Harrison scoring twice for Liverpool.

Elsewhere, Loughborough Students beat Fylde 1-0 with a Hannah Bloy strike being the difference. The game between the University of Durham and Wakefield was postponed.

Investec Conference East
Harleston Magpies were big winners in the Investec Women’s Hockey Conference East, beating bottom-of-the-table Chelmsford 6-1. Louisa Greenacre, Lucy Whiting, Martha Lawrence, Rose Winter, Lottie Summers and Lauren Rowe were all on target for the Magpies.

Hampstead & Westminster still top the table with a Hayley Turner goal proving to be the difference in their 1-0 defeat of Cambridge City.

Second faced third with Sevenoaks hosting Wimbledon and it was the visitors who came away with a 5-2 victory thanks to goals from Crista Cullen, Laura Bevan, Libby Sherriff, Fiona Bruce and Eliza Brett.

In the other game of the day, St Albans gave themselves a bit of berating space in the bottom half of the table with a 3-0 defeat of Southgate.

Investec Conference West
Trojans are still top of the Investec Women’s Conference West despite being held to a 0-0 draw with struggling Oxford Hawks, but there were plenty of goals in the other games of the day.

Isca took only their fourth win of the season, a 5-0 defeat of bottom of the table Team Bath Buccaneers with Emily Davies hitting a double.

Stourport are still second despite a 1-0 loss to Swansea City with Kat Budd scoring the only goal and Reading beat Gloucester City 2-0 to go third. 

Elsewhere, a Sally Walton brace saw Olton and West Warwicks take a 3-1 win against Cannock.

* The above photo shows Leicester's Rachael Mack (left) and Buckingham scorer Eloise Laity. Credit Andrew Smith.

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