PREVIEWS: Investec Women's Hockey League


Relegation-threatened Loughborough Students and Holcombe are preparing to face each other on the last day of the regular season in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.

Defeat could cast either side into the relegation play-offs, while for Holcombe a big win could be enough to scrape into the top four and the title play-offs.

The two sides drew 1-1 when they met earlier in the season. But a run of three losses for Loughborough Students may give the edge to Holcombe, who have not lost their last two matches.

“There is everything still to play for and to a greater extent it's in our hands,” said Loughborough Students’ Head Coach Brett Holland. “We know the strengths of Holcombe but are happy to be playing at home knowing that this is our cup final.

“We've learnt so much this season as a group and with the extra pressure on results currently it will allow us to learn even more. There are certainly no easy games in the Premier League, it's relentless. The league table could be moving and shaking regularly from 2pm on Saturday.”

“Our overarching aim of the season was to be competitive in all matches,” added Holland. “We feel we're achieving this, getting results against most teams over the season, and sitting in the top half of the table for most of the season.

“But we look back and know we've missed opportunities to pick up more points; often having more possession, more chances and playing some really nice hockey to not come away with the win often enough.”

Elsewhere, the University of Birmingham host Buckingham knowing they need a win to be assured of safety, while Beeston could also face relegation play-offs if they lose at Hampstead & Westminster.

Currently third, Hampstead could go second and secure home advantage for the play-offs if they win and East Grinstead lose to top of the table Surbiton.

And in the day’s other top-flight match Clifton Robinsons host relegated Bowdon Hightown and could also make it into the top four if other results go their way.

Second-placed Swansea host third-placed University of Durham in the Investec Division One North, with both sides desperate for points to keep their title hopes alive.

Leicester City are currently top of the table and go to Brooklands-Poynton. If they win and Swansea City lose, the title goes to the Midlands side. If both win, the division will be decided on the last day of the regular season.

At the other end of the table Belper and Leeds are desperate for victory this weekend to avoid the drop. Currently bottom, Leeds host Ben Rhydding, while Belper are at home against Gloucester City.

And in the Investec Division One South champions Wimbledon host Cambridge City looking to maintain their 100% league record this season. At the other end of the table Isca go to Slough desperate for points in their battle to avoid the drop.

* The Oxford University versus Team Bath Buccaneers game that was postponed on 15 February has been awarded to Bath as a 3-0 win due to Oxford being unable to fulfill the replayed fixture in line with league regulations


League Finals

The top four teams in the EHL Premier Divisions play off to be league champions. Semis - 1st v 4th and 2nd v 3rd. The winning semi-finalists qualify for the final.

The team finishing top of the Division at the end of the regular season take England’s second place in the following season’s European Club Championships the winners of the final are league champions and take England’s top place. If this is the same team then the losers of the final take the second European place.

As requested by teams the semi-finals this season are at home club venues. Men’s semis are on 29 March, Women’s semis are scheduled for 4 April.

The finals are on 5 April at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

1200 hrs – Men’s final

1430 hrs – Women’s final

Promotion & Relegation – Premier Division and Division 1 North & Division 1 South

The team finishing 10th in the Premier Division is relegated.

The winners of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off in a one-off match on 29 March at a neutral venue, Nottingham Hockey Centre. The winners of this match are promoted to the Premier Division.

The losers of this game play against the team finishing 9th in the Premier Division over two matches, home and away, with the winners on the aggregate score earning/retaining a Premier Division place.

5 April – Losers of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off v 9th Premier Division – Match 1

18 April – 9th Premier Division v Losers of Division 1 North & Division 1 South play off – Match 2


Investec Women’s Hockey League (Sat, 14 March 2020):

Investec Premier Division
Clifton Robinsons v Bowdon Hightown 14:00 (at Golden Hill)
East Grinstead v Surbiton 14:00
Hampstead & Westminster v Beeston 14:00
Loughborough Students v Holcombe 14:00
Univ of Birmingham v Buckingham 14:00

Investec Division One North
Swansea v Univ of Durham 10:30
Brooklands-Poynton v Leicester City 11:45
Olton & West Warwicks v Stourport 12:00
Belper v Gloucester City 13:30
Leeds v Ben Rhydding 14:00

Investec Division One South
Slough v Isca 12:15
Harleston Magpies v Reading 13:30
Canterbury v Trojans 14:00
Wimbledon v Cambridge City 15:45
Sevenoaks v St Albans 17:00

Investec Conference East
Barnes v Horsham 12:00
Ipswich v Wimbledon 2s 12:00
Bromley & Beckenham v Broxbourne 12:30
Bedford v Canterbury 2s 13:30
Chelmsford v Southgate 15:00

Investec Conference North
Pendle Forest v Sutton Coldfield 12:00
Univ of Nottingham v Timperley 13:00
Beeston 2s v Fylde 14:00
Cannock v Alderley Edge 14:00
Wakefield v Doncaster 14:00

Investec Conference West
Oxford Hawks v Exe 12:00
Univ of Birmingham 2s v Cheltenham 12:15
Oxford University v Clifton Robinsons 2s 12:30
Team Bath Buccaneers v Basingstoke 12:30
Univ of Bristol v Surbiton 2s 13:15