PREVIEWS: Investec Women's Hockey League

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With six matches left in the regular season, the battle to avoid relegation from the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division is heating up with Slough hosting fellow strugglers University of Birmingham on Saturday.

Both with just one win from their 12 games so far, they are both facing the prospect of a relegation scrap unless they can secure some points – starting with this weekend’s crucial clash.

“There are still games left to play after Birmingham so we cannot pin everything on that,” said Slough captain Kat McGonigle. “But everyone can see it’s a massive game in the fight to stay out of the bottom two come the end of the season.

“We were unhappy with our recent results, but we know that our fate is still in our hands starting with a big game against the University of Birmingham,” said Slough captain Kat McGonigle.

“They are always a great side and our games are always tight - the 2-1 loss earlier in the season was no exception. However, past results don’t always mean much when games become this important - it’s anyone’s game.

“Slough have fought hard for their Premier Division place and we are not about to give it up easily.”

Bottom of the table Canterbury have also not given up their place in the top flight yet, and they will be hoping to get a win at home against Bowdon Hightown.

At the other end of the table leaders Holcombe go to Surbiton in a game both sides will want to win to strengthen their play-off places, while fourth-placed East Grinstead host third-placed Buckingham in another crucial match for both side’s play-off hopes.

Finally, Clifton Robinsons entertain Beeston in the weekend’s other top flight match.

They both secured back to back wins last weekend in the Investec Conference East, and leaders Hampstead & Westminster entertain third-placed Sevenoaks in a match crucial to both side’s promotion hopes.

Meanwhile, second-placed Wimbledon go to Cambridge City.

In the Investec Conference West Stourport will be looking to secure league win 13 out of 13 when they entertain Olton & West Warwicks. Meanwhile bottom of the table Exe have a tough match at second-placed Gloucester City.

And in the Investec Conference North second-placed Leicester go to Sutton Coldfield as they bid to keep pace with leaders Loughborough Students, who entertain Ben Rhydding.

Fylde forfeited their match against Leicester which was rescheduled for 17 February after postponement on 2 February. The decision of the EHL in respect of this was to award the game to Leicester with a score of 5-0 and additionally Fylde are deducted one point.

FIXTURES

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, 23 February 2019)

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

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

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

Investec Conference North
Belper v Fylde 12:00
Loughborough Students v Ben Rhydding 12:30
Sutton Coldfield v Leicester 12:30
Brooklands-Poynton v Univ of Durham 13:00
Timperley v Leeds 14:15