PREVIEWS: Investec Women's Hockey League

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After stepping up into the play-off zone with a win over rivals Beeston last weekend, Clifton Robinsons are preparing to face Bowdon Hightown in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.

Clifton Robinsons beat them 4-1 back in November, and will be looking for a similar result to boost their bid for a place in the top four come the end of the regular season.

“Bowdon Hightown is a fantastic club, they are always competitive and we're really looking forward to the challenge,” said Clifton Robinsons head coach Stephen Rixon.

“2017-18 was a very challenging season, and the aim for this season was to improve in key areas and return to challenging for honours. We set a number of metrics to measure progress against these aims and are happy to say we are significantly improved.

“Unfortunately we are missing some players with a broken thumb, strained ACL, a few other niggles and some who can't travel due to work. So it’s a great opportunity for those who are selected.”

Elsewhere, leaders Surbiton head to the University of Birmingham to play a side who have not lost in their last three games, while Holcombe – who are second to Surbiton only on goal difference – entertain a Slough who beat them back in October.

Beeston will be aiming to get back to winning ways after the loss to Clifton last weekend, but will need to be on top form to get past third-placed East Grinstead.

Buckingham also have their eyes firmly on a play-off spot, and they play host to Canterbury on Saturday.

Leaders Loughborough Students face second-placed Leicester in a crucial match for both side’s promotion ambitions in the Investec Women’s Conference North, while Brooklands-Poynton are third and head to fourth-placed Belper.

Second-placed Wimbledon head to third-placed Sevenoaks in the Investec Women’s Conference East on Saturday with both sides desperate for points to keep pace with current leaders Hampstead & Westminster, who go to Horsham.

In the Investec Women’s Conference West, high-flying Stourport go to Reading in search of their 13th win in 14 games, while second-placed Gloucester are at home against Barnes.

And at the other end of the table Oxford Hawks go to Exe in a battle of the bottom two.


Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, 2 March 2019)

Investec Premier Division
Beeston v East Grinstead 12:00
Buckingham v Canterbury 12:00
Univ of Birmingham v Surbiton 13:15
Bowdon Hightown v Clifton Robinsons 13:45
Holcombe v Slough 16:00

Investec Conference East
St Albans v Bedford 13:00
Ipswich v Harleston Magpies 14:30
Horsham v Hampstead & Westminster 15:30
Southgate v Cambridge City 15:30
Sevenoaks v Wimbledon 17:00

Investec Conference West
Gloucester City v Barnes 12:00
Olton & West Warwicks v Isca 12:00
Swansea City v Trojans 12:00
Exe v Oxford Hawks 13:00
Reading v Stourport 13:30

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