PREVIEW: Investec Women's Hockey League

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The University of Birmingham head to Canterbury in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday, to play the first of two crucial matches against relegation rivals.

Currently eighth in the table, the University of Birmingham are due to play both the teams below them over the next two weeks with all three teams desperate for points to avoid the drop.

“The next fortnight is a very important time for us,” said Phil Gooderham, the University of Birmingham’s Head Coach. “Unfortunately we have three girls away on international duty, and another four injured.

“But we’re working with all our squad and we’re lucky to have a larger squad than some clubs do, and the girls who do come in have done well for us.

“Slough and Canterbury will both be tough games, especially because everyone is scrapping for points. I don’t underestimate anybody in the Premier Division, it doesn’t matter if they’re at the top of bottom, the standard is always high.”

At the other end of the table, new leaders Holcombe are at home against a Beeston side who are aiming to preserve their place in the top four.

And Surbiton – who lost their third game in four matches last weekend and dropped to second in the table – are at home against third-placed East Grinstead in another mouth-watering clash.

And both Clifton Robinsons and Buckingham could move into the play-off spots with a win as they play each other on Saturday.

In the Investec Conference East, second-placed Cambridge City head to third-placed Hampstead & Westminster on Saturday as they both eye the top of the table.

Leaders Wimbledon are at home against St Albans and will want to hang on to top spot, while Sevenoaks go to bottom of the table Ipswich.

Loughborough Students maintained their unbeaten run in the Investec Conference North with a win at the University of Durham last weekend, and they will be looking to secure another win this Saturday when they head to Leeds.

Below them, second-placed Leicester host third-placed Brooklands-Poynton in an important match for both sides, while the University of Durham are at home against strugglers Sutton Coldfield.

And in the Investec Conference West leaders Stourport will be aiming to make it 11 league wins in a row as they go to bottom of the table Exe, who are still looking for their first victory.

Elsewhere in the Conference West second-placed Gloucester City go to Oxford Hawks, another team without a league win so far.

FIXTURES

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, 16 February 2019)

Investec Premier Division
Clifton Robinsons v Buckingham 13:00
Holcombe v Beeston 14:00
Canterbury v Univ of Birmingham 16:00
Surbiton v East Grinstead 16:00

Investec Conference East
Ipswich v Sevenoaks 13:00
Hampstead & Westminster v Cambridge City 13:30
Harleston Magpies v Bedford 13:30
Wimbledon v St Albans 14:00
Horsham v Southgate 15:00

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

Investec Conference North
Univ of Durham v Sutton Coldfield 12:00
Ben Rhydding v Belper 13:30
Fylde v Timperley 13:30
Leicester v Brooklands-Poynton 15:00
Leeds v Loughborough Students 16:00


Investec Women’s Hockey League (Sunday, February 17 2019)

Investec Conference East
Hampstead & Westminster v Harleston Magpies 12:00
Sevenoaks v St Albans 14:30

Investec Conference West
Isca v Oxford Hawks 14:30
Stourport v Trojans 14:30

Investec Conference North
Sutton Coldfield v Ben Rhydding 13:00
Brooklands-Poynton v Ben Rhydding 14:00