PREVIEWS: Investec Women's Hockey League

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Fourth-placed Buckingham face one last match as they bid to hold on to the fourth and final play-off spot in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division, but they face a Slough side who are fighting for their survival.

Clifton Robinsons could overtake Buckingham and snatch the final post-season spot if Slough win, and Buckingham aren’t taking anything for granted.

“We know Saturday will be a really tough match as Slough are a good side and a very tough side to play against, especially at home,” said Buckingham head coach Zak Jones. “However, we are very much looking forward to the challenge.

“Our goal this season was simple; to finish as high up the table as possible. Although we have not been as consistent in our performances as we would have liked this year, a top four finish is in our own hands and as fourth is now the highest we can finish, that is what we will be aiming for.”

Elsewhere, if Slough win the University of Birmingham could end up facing the relegation play-offs. But if Birmingham can win at home against Beeston, they will be safe.

Top of the table Holcombe go to relegated Canterbury as they aim to hold on to the top spot, while Surbiton are second and head to Bowdon Hightown.

Clifton Robinson’s hopes of play-off action rest on getting a result at home against East Grinstead, Buckingham losing and a four goal deficit being overturned in the process.

In the Conferences a top six finish guarantees a place in the new Division One North and South in 2019, whilst the three teams finishing seventh will play off for two further places.

Leaders Hampstead and Westminster need a win at home against Ipswich to guarantee the Investec Conference East title, while second-placed Wimbledon entertain Bedford and could still snatch the title if Hampstead don’t win.

Elsewhere, Horsham are at home against Sevenoaks and a win could move them up the table and into sixth spot, thereby ensuring Division One hockey for next season if St Albans lose at Cambridge City.

Whilst league winners Stourport host runners up Gloucester City, four teams in the Investec Conference West are battling for three spots in Division One following the league restructure for next season.

Reading and Isca play each other as they bid to hold on to places in the top six, Olton & West Warwicks who are currently seventh go to Exe and would claim a top six finish with a win, as would Swansea City if they draw with Oxford Hawks.

And in the Investec Conference North champions Loughborough Students go to Sutton Coldfield as they prepare for the first of their Promotion Tournament matches next weekend. Elsewhere the teams finishing second to sixth are confirmed and Leeds will finish seventh and go into the play-offs.

* Round one of the EHL Promotion Tournament takes place at the Nottingham Hockey Centre on April 7.

The winners of the Investec Conference East will play the team who finish ninth in the Investec Premier Division at 1315hrs, while Investec Conference West winners Stourport face Investec Conference North champions Loughborough Students play each other at 1530.

The final set of Promotion Tournament matches take place at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London on April 13-14.


* Tickets for the Investec Women’s and Men’s Hockey League Finals are on sale now!

Taking place at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Sat 13 and Sun 14 April, the country’s best teams do battle.

Tickets for a single day start at just £2 for under 18s and £13 for adults. For both days it’s from £8 for under 18s and £20 adults – fantastic value to watch elite domestic players in action.

https://englandhockey.seetickets.com/event/investec-women-s-and-men-s-league-finals/lee-valley-hockey-and-tennis-centre-qeop-london/1314313

FIXTURES

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Investec Women’s Hockey League

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

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

Investec Conference West
Exe v Olton & West Warwicks 14:00
Reading v Isca 14:00
Stourport v Gloucester City 14:00
Swansea City v Oxford Hawks 14:00
Trojans v Barnes 14:00

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