Birmingham and Beeston riding high in the leagues

Women’s national league Men’s national league
Leicester 2 Bowdon Hightown 1 Beeston 3 Cannock 0
Cannock 5 Reading 3 East Grinstead 3 Brooklands MU 0
Brooklands Poynton 1 Clifton 1 Hampstead and Westminster 2 Canterbury 2
Olton & West Warwicks 1 University of Birmingham 6 Reading 2 Loughborough Students 3
Canterbury 0 Slough 2 Bowdon 1 Surbiton 2

Picture: Lorna Sissons(left, UoB) and Holly Chipman, Olton and West Warwicks battle in the England hockey league (c)Andy Smith
University of Birmingham lead Leicester on goal difference at the top of the women’s national league after the second round of matches on Saturday. Sophie Bray helped herself to four goals in an emphatic 6-1 victory for Birmingham away at Olton and West Warwicks. Bray scored twice in the first half with Holly Payne and Vicki Gill making it 4-0 at the break. Rachel Clift dropped into defence in the second half to stem the student tide. But Bray scored twice more with Naomi James getting a consolation for Olton.

Evergreen Tina Cullen scored in Bowdon Hightown’s loss at Leicester while Becky Herbert and Jess Hickman scored for Leicester.
At the other end of the division last year’s league runners up, Reading find themselves without a win after two matches with many of their stars tied up on international duty so far this season.

Men’s league

The men’s national league has as familiar look after the second round of matches also on Saturday. Last year’s premiership finalists Beeston and champions East Grinstead are both unbeaten at the top of the table. Cannock and Brooklands MU remain pointless at the foot of the division.
For Beeston, two Andrew Monte PC strikes and a Sam Ward goal put away Cannock while EGs three came from Mark Pearn, Danny Hall (open play) and Gareth Carr (PC).
Reports by Tom Cooper and Andy Smith. Pictures: Andy Smith
For more images see the gallery.