Late goal sees Buckingham beat Surbiton

Holcombe's Steph Elliott in action against the Univ of Birmingham's Freya Bull. Credit Andrew Smith - 480x320
Abbie Brant’s last minute strike helped Buckingham beat leaders Surbiton and maintained their hopes of reaching the play-offs in the Investec Women’s Hockey League on Saturday.

The win leaves Buckingham fifth in the table and just one point behind the University of Birmingham, while third-placed East Grinstead are also within their reach if they can beat Bowdon Hightown by six goals on Sunday.

Holcombe secured their spot in the play-offs with a 2-1 win at the University of Birmingham, Heather McEwan scoring both their goals while Erica Sanders scored a consolation from a late penalty strike for Birmingham.

Elsewhere, Leicester gave their hopes of avoiding relegation play-offs a boost when they won 2-1 at Bowdon. Katie Long and Katie Hockley scored their goals and, although Maddie Goodman pulled one back for the hosts, it wasn’t enough.

Also battling to avoid relegation are Slough and Canterbury and they drew 1-1 with Mel Clewlow and Georgina Bathurst scoring the goals.

Clifton Robinsons are also in the relegation dogfight, and they secured a 2-0 win at East Grinstead with Hannah Coulson and Abi Porter scoring their goals.

Investec Women’s Conference West
The title race in the Investec Women’s Conference West will go down to the last day of the season with the top two, Stourport and Reading, separated by just one point.

Leaders Stourport were 4-2 winners at Olton & West Warwicks with Sarah Parkinson-Mills scoring two and others coming from Lora Symonds and Sophie Thompson. Sally Walton scored both Olton goals.

Elsewhere Reading won 3-2 at home against Swansea City. Zoe Hopkinson scored twice for Reading while Elizabeth Chambers added the other.

Elsewhere on Saturday Gloucester City were 1-0 winners over Cannock, while Isca won 4-1 against Oxford Hawks with Anna-Rose Gabbitass scoring two of their goals.

And bottom of the table Team Bath Buccaneers were 3-1 winners at Trojans with their goals coming from Vikki Warwick, Courtney Hansford and Samantha Roberts.

Investec Women’s Conference North
Second-placed Brooklands-Poynton inflicted Beeston’s first league defeat of the season in the Investec Women’s Conference North, beating the champions 3-0.

Sophia Crawshay, Cat Savage and Tor Hughes scored the goals as the visitors proved victorious.

Elsewhere the University of Durham had a good away win, beating hosts Ben Rhydding 3-0 with their goals coming from Tess Howard (2) and Lorna Cruickshank.

Loughborough Students were 4-1 winners at Timperley with their goals being scored by Megan Lewis-Williams, Phoebe Tomlinson, Ella Cusack and Sharon Seaton.

The game between Fylde and Sutton Coldfield ended as a 1-1 draw, as did the relegation scrap between the bottom two, Wakefield and Liverpool Sefton.

Investec Women’s Conference East
The title race continues in the Investec Women’s Conference East with three teams still in the hunt.

Hampstead & Westminster lead following their 3-0 win over Chelmsford with Lauren Turner, Joyce Esser and Louise Radford their scorers on Saturday.

Second-placed Sevenoaks were 4-3 winners over Harleston Magpies on Saturday with goals coming from Cathy Gilliat-Smith, Jess Denniff, Maddie Thompson and Renee Ojikutu, following on from their mid-week 6-2 win at Southgate.

But third-placed Wimbledon could also take top spot, with two outstanding games. They were 5-1 winners at Barnes on Saturday with Crista Cullen and Eliza Brett both scoring two, while Fiona Bruce added another.

In other Saturday action, relegation-threatened Bedford and Southgate drew 0-0, while Cambridge City beat visitors St Albans 6-2 with Hannah de Selincourt scoring twice for the home side.

* The above photo shows Holcombe's Steph Elliott in action against the Univ of Birmingham's Freya Bull. Credit Andrew Smith.

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