Photo credit: Graeme Wilcockson
Buckingham claimed their first victory of the season to move them second in the Vitality Women’s Premier Division table behind Hampstead & Westminster.
Jo Day’s field goal shortly before half-time was enough to see them beat Loughborough Students, with the university side playing their first game since the sad death of coach Andy Gibson.
The win for Buckingham extends their unbeaten run so far this season to three games following two draws in their opening fixtures, meaning they sit on five points.
With Surbiton and East Grinstead in EuroHockey League action, Hampstead & Westminster strengthened their lead at the top of the table with a 3-1 win against Clifton Robinsons.
Having played out a goalless first half, Lauren Turner scored for a third game in a row to give Hampstead the lead with a penalty stroke in the 45th minute. Esme Burge added to their advantage six minutes later before Sarah Robertson’s second goal of the season secured a third successive win, although Clifton had the last say as Holly Munro scored with the last touch of the match.
Despite falling behind early on, the University of Birmingham were also victors for the first time in the 2021/22 season as they beat Swansea 4-2.
Sara Davies fired the Welsh side ahead in just the third minute before Lillie Walker levelled proceedings shortly before half-time. Birmingham then scored three goals in 11 minutes through Millie Atwell, Carter Ayars and Becky Manton to establish a clear advantage which Swansea couldn’t overturn, despite Rebecca Treharne scoring in the 55th minute.
In the day’s late game, Wimbledon also earned themselves a maiden win as they beat Holcombe 2-0 in the driving rain in south-west London.
Eliza Brett caught the visitors cold in the second minute before Lucy Holder added a second midway through the second half to secure the points.
Having scored a hat-trick on the opening day of the season, Maddie Axford was on target twice more for the University of Nottingham as they beat the University of Durham 5-1 in Division One North, with captain Sally Sime also scoring twice. Not to be outdone, Bowdon and Stourport both recorded 6-1 wins over Ben Rhydding and Belper respectively, while Brooklands Poynton beat Olton & West Warwicks 2-0. Gloucester City and Leicester City played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the other game.
Four teams continued their perfect starts to the season in Division One South with Cambridge City, Reading, Sevenoaks and Surbiton 2s all recording second straight victories. Sevenoaks are yet to concede a goal after beating Canterbury 1-0 but it’s Surbiton 2s who sit top on goal difference, with a 2-1 win over Slough following on from a 4-0 win last week. Cambridge City and Reading enjoyed 1-0 wins over Wimbledon 2s and Isca respectively while Harleston Magpies picked up three points with a 3-0 defeat of Trojans.
Barnes and London Wayfarers made it two wins in a row in the Conference East to occupy the top places in the table. Barnes beat Southgate 2-1 while London Wayfarers emerged 1-0 winners over Hampstead & Westminster 2s. Bromley & Beckenham registered their first victory of the season by beating Chelmsford 3-0, with East London doing the same as they beat Ipswich 3-2. Canterbury 2s also notched their first win of the season by beating Horsham 1-0.
St Albans put five unanswered goals past Khalsa Leamington in the standout performance in the Conference Midlands. They sit second in the table behind Sutton Coldfield after the team from Birmingham made it two wins from two by beating Bedford 1-0. Both Oxford University and Loughborough Students 2s won their opening games of the season, the former beating Broxbourne 4-2 and the latter overcoming Beeston 2s 1-0. The other game saw University of Birmingham 2s and Cannock draw 0-0.
Timperley came from two goals down to beat Wakefield 4-3 and maintain their perfect start to the season in the Conference North. They sit two points clear of Fylde, who beat Pendle Forest 2-0 for their first win of the season. Doncaster were victorious in their first game of 2021/22 as they beat University of Durham 2s 3-2, with Alderley Edge defeating Neston 2-1. Finally, Didsbury Northern and Leeds played out a 0-0 draw.
The teams in the Conference West were very evenly matched as all four completed games were drawn. Bristol Firebrands against Oxford Hawks and Penarth against Witney both ended 2-2, while the matches that saw Basingstoke pitted against Clifton Robinsons 2s and Cheltenham host Team Bath Buccs finished 1-1. Heavy rain and a waterlogged pitch saw Exe’s game against the University of Bristol postponed.