England Hockey League Round-Up

Brooklands Poynton were the latest beneficiaries of Bowdon Hightown’s slump in Women’s Premier Division form on Saturday.  Despite going in to the half a goal down, Poynton’s resolve was strong as they mounted a comeback in which they scored three in a fifteen minute period.

The two goal lead ultimately proved too great for Hightown to overturn.  Fay Nash goals bookended the game for Hightown scoring in the first and 68th minutes, but as it was, the three goals from Brooklands Poynton’s Phillipa Jones, Katie Maltman and Helen Armishaw proved to be those for the winning side.

Sophie Bray in action for University of BirminghamLeicester's exceptional start to the season continued with their sixth win courtesy of a 3-2 win away at University of Birmingham.  Leicester twice took the lead through Rebecca Herbert and Vanessa Hawkins before being pinned back by goals from Sophie Bray (pictured right).  It was Crista Cullen's 59th minute penalty corner strike to which University of Birmingham could not find an answer, that sealed the points for Leicester.

Clifton salvaged their first point of the season, rising from bottom spot in remarkable fashion.  With just a minute left on the clock, Jen Wilson put Canterbury into a 2-1 lead and looked to have sewn up the points for the Kent side.  Clifton, and Leah Wilkinson, had other ideas and in the dying seconds Wilkinson netted from a penalty corner to take a share of the spoils.  Reading remains second having recorded their fifth win of the season 3-1 at home against Olton & WW.

Reading maintained their 100% record in Men’s Premier Division on Saturday, travelling to Cannock and despatching the Staffordshire side with aplomb.  They raced into an early lead through goals from Jonty Clarke and Simon Mantell setting the tone for the game; they ended 6-2 victors, winning both halves 3-1 to complete a consistent performance.

Surbiton have dropped just two points so far this season.  They had Tim Pinnock to thank for their 4-2 win over Loughborough Students after he bagged all four of their goals.  Their 3-0 lead at half-time proved an unassailable one despite Nick Catlin scoring twice in the second half for the home side.

Bowdon moved up into fourth after a 5-2 win – in a reverse of the fixture in the Women’s Premier Division – away at local rivals Brooklands MU.  Michael Hoare and Chris Borrett both netted twice for the winning side as did David Seddon in the first half for Brooklands.

Canterbury's Kwan Browne in action against Harleston Magpies in the England Hockey League (EHL) East Conference, 24 October 2009Old Loughtonians and Canterbury share the points lead in Men’s Conference East with Loughts possessing the better goal difference by two.  Old Loughtonians travelled to Indian Gymkhana and a 3-0 half time lead was converted to a 4-2 victory thanks to a brace from Alex Jennings.  Canterbury led 2-1 at the half at home against Harleston Magpies, and it was to be that way at the end, Ben Hipwell and Kwan Browne the scorers for Canterbury.

Ipswich’s 6-0 victory over newly promoted Northampton Saints continued their fine start to the season and they lead Women’s Conference East by a point. Despite taking the early lead against second placed Chelmsford, Southgate were unable to capitalise and were condemned to their fourth loss of the season.

The top two in Men’s Conference North both suffered defeat, leaders Deeside Ramblers travelled to Harborne and suffered a 4-1 defeat; whilst Sheffield Hallam Civica’s second defeat of the season came at Doncaster.  Belper's 3-2 win over Formby moved them four points clear of their opponents who occupy tenth place.

Sutton Coldfield put five past bottom of the table Doncaster and continue to lead Women’s Conference North by a point over Durham University, Sheffield Hallam’s 3-1 win over Sunderland - thanks to a hat-trick by Caroline Kay - sees them in eigth place; three points above Loughborough.

Team Bath Buccaneers’ 4-3 win on Saturday over Havant continued their 100% record in Men’s Conference West.  Havant allowed Team Bath a four goal lead before getting into the game.  Despite scoring three in reply they were unable to claw back any points.  Plymouth Marjon gained their second draw of the season away at Fareham, though they remain bottom of the table by two points.

Women’s Conference West leaders Exe ground out a 1-0 win over Team Bath Buccaneers thanks to Jo Pope’s 33rd minute goal.  Third place Barnes HE were usurped by Cannock, who won 5-2 at Bournemouth, after they were held to a 0-0 draw by second bottom Swansea; Swansea’s first point of the season.