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Canterbury tighten Premier Division grip
Reading went up to second in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division after a solitary Kate Walsh goal fired them to victory over Leicester on Sunday.
Leicester are now down to third on goal difference but remain favourites for the play-offs, three points clear of fifth placed Bowdon Hightown.
Canterbury tightened their grip at the top with an impressive win at Clifton on Saturday.
It took Mel Clewlow no time at all to open the scoring, slotting the opener in almost from the start. Sarah Kerly added a second after four minutes and Jade Mayne hit the third after 13 minutes.
Clifton managed to stem the flow until the 63rd minute when Eliza Brett capped the display with the fourth and final goal.
Olton and West Warwickshire took a step towards survival with a thrilling 5-4 win over Sutton Coldfield.
Olton led 3-1 after quarter of an hour, and at the break were 4-3 ahead. They opened up a two-goal lead with Emma McCabe scoring on 44 minutes, and although Sutton Coldfield’s Sarah Mills pulled one back with nine minutes remaining it was not quite enough to avoid defeat.
Fifth-placed Bowdon Hightown kept pressure on the top four as they strolled to a comfortable 5-0 win over bottom club Slough.
Tina Cullen broke the deadlock in the 19th minute and further goals came from Nat Wray, Hannah Pike, Clare Parkhill and Charlotte Hartley. This latest defeat leaves Slough with just one point in 15 games.
Surbiton still hold onto fourth spot by goal difference after a narrow win over University of Birmingham. Emma Batten hit the only goal in a 1-0 victory.
Harleston Magpies remain top of the Investec Conference East after a 3-1 win over Chelmsford. Angie Wheelhouse was on target twice.
Buckingham dropped points for the first time this season, chalking up a 2-2 draw against Swansea in the Investec Conference West. But their place in the promotion play-offs was secured several weeks ago.
And in the Investec Conference North, Beeston remain top after recording their 13th win of the campaign. This time, their opponents were strugglers Liverpool Sefton. The Nottinghamshire side won 4-0 with goals from Kira Schmitz, Hannah Wraith, Erica Sanders and Sophie Robinson.
Investec Women’s Hockey League (March 2 2013):
Investec Premier Division: Clifton 0, Canterbury 4; Bowdon Hightown 5, Slough 0; Surbiton 1, University of Birmingham 0; Sutton Coldfield 4, Olton and West Warwickshire 5.
Investec Conference East: Oxford Hawks 2, St Albans 0; Harleston Magpies 3, Chelmsford 1; Old Loughtonians 2, Sevenoaks 1; Horsham 1, Wimbledon 4; Ipswich 7, Bromley and Beckenham 2.
Investec Conference North: Doncaster 0, Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 2; Liverpool Sefton 0, Beeston 4; Loughborough Students 5, Ben Rhydding 0; University of Durham 1, Brooklands Poynton 0; Wakefield Bradford 2, Cannock 0.
Investec Conference West: Gloucester City 4, Isca 6; Barnes Hounslow Ealing 3, Bristol Firebrands 3; Swansea 2, Buckingham 2; Taunton Vale 0, Trojans 5; Staines 2, Stourport 3.
20. October 124
Photography: Michael Bradley