Women’s national league kicks off

Slough 0 Leicester 3
Clifton 5 Olton & West Warwicks 2
University of Birmingham 3 Cannock 2
Bowdon Hightown Ladies 3 Reading 1
Canterbury Ladies 7 Brooklands Poynton 5

The first weekend of the women’s national league featured a clash of last season’s premiership finalists. Leicester had at least a small taste of revenge for their final loss four months ago, this time turning over champions Slough 3-0. Rebecca Herbert, returning to the league after a leg operation, hit two while Hannah Smith bagged a penalty corner goal.
Last season’s relegation-dodgers Clifton now sit on top of the table after a 5-2 over Olton and West Warwicks. Welsh Commonwealth Games squad member Carys Hopkins bagged two open-play goals for the Severn-siders.
Premiership newcomers Cannock started well against a lacklustre Birmingham University side – Jo Leigh giving the Staffordshire side a deserved lead.
Ashleigh Caddick hit an equaliser following a PC before half time. Phil Gooderham then read the students the riot act and Birmingham re-took the lead when a corner left Rebecca Condie with a simple tap in for 2-1.
Moments later Sophie Bray won ball and outran two Cannock defenders to put a strike past Cannock keeper Sabbie Heesh. Cannock managed to pull a second, again through Leigh, before the end but failed to find an equaliser.
Picture: Birmingham Uni’s Jenna Woolvern(left and Cannock’s Amy Turnbull
Reports by Andy Smith and Tom Cooper. Picture Andy Smith