PREVIEWS: Investec Women's Hockey League

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Beeston’s title ambitions face a tough challenge on Saturday afternoon, as they face current leaders and last season’s champions Surbiton in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Currently fourth with two wins to their name so far, Beeston could climb to second if they win on Saturday.

The match starts at 4pm and - alongside the two sides’ men’s teams playing at 6pm - forms part of Beeston’s Oktoberfest celebrations with hockey, sausages and beer on offer.

“We’re very pleased with how we’ve started, it’s exciting being back in the Premier Division,” said Chris Glover, Beeston’s team manager. “It’s a big step up from the Conference and we’ve tried to prepare as well as we can and had a good pre-season.

“Most of the teams we’ve played have been impressed by how we’ve competed. We’re trying to play an exciting brand of hockey, but we need to be smart and pragmatic too, especially playing teams like Surbiton.

“It’s going to be a huge challenge for us, but this is why we’ve worked so hard to get back into this Division, to play in matches like this.”

Second-placed Holcombe head to strugglers Slough on Saturday as they bid to get back to winning ways following last weekend’s loss to East Grinstead, who are at home against Clifton Robinsons.

In other top flight action, Bottom of the table Bowdon Hightown entertain the University of Birmingham, while Buckingham go to Canterbury.

The top two play each other in the Investec Conference East, with Cambridge City hosting leaders Hampstead & Westminster. Meanwhile, third-placed Harleston Magpies could also go top if they can win at Sevenoaks and other results go in their favour.

Leaders Loughborough Students face a tough clash with Brooklands-Poynton in the Investec Conference North, while the University of Durham could go top in they can win at Leeds.

And in the Investec Conference West, unbeaten Stourport are preparing to meet the team below them in third, Gloucester City. Meanwhile, leaders Olton & West Warwicks go to Oxford Hawks.

* East Grinstead have been deducted the three points gained in their 2-1 defeat of Beeston on 29 September.

This is due to the participation of Rosa Villagra, who, whilst registered as an EHL player, had played for Popeye BC in the Argentina Women’s Club Championships from 20-23 September 2018. This made her ineligible to subsequently participate in the league. Rosa has now been re-registered by East Grinstead.

FIXTURES

Investec Women’s Hockey League

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Investec Premier Division
Slough v Holcombe 12:30
Bowdon Hightown v Univ of Birmingham 13:45
East Grinstead v Clifton Robinsons 14:00
Canterbury v Buckingham 16:00
Beeston v Surbiton 16:00

Investec Conference East
Sevenoaks v Harleston Magpies 12:00
Ipswich v Southgate 13:00
Bedford v St Albans 13:30
Cambridge City v Hampstead & Westminster 15:00
Horsham v Wimbledon 15:30

Investec Conference North
Belper v Ben Rhydding 12:00
Timperley v Fylde 12:30
Loughborough Students v Brooklands-Poynton 12:30
Leicester v Sutton Coldfield 15:00
Leeds v Univ of Durham 18:00

Investec Conference West
Exe v Trojans 12:00
Oxford Hawks v Olton & West Warwicks 12:00
Swansea City v Isca 12:00
Gloucester City v Stourport 12:30
Reading v Barnes 16:30