Tough at the top in the England Hockey League

[img_assist|nid=1161|title=|desc=Reading’s Simon Mantell gets to the ball ahead of East Grinstead’s Niall Stott. Reading won the premier league clash 3-2 (c) Ian Wood|link=popup|align=right|width=300|height=324]It was a tough weekend at the top in the England Hockey League with men’s leaders East Grinstead losing their first premier league game of the season and Canterbury being knocked off top position in the women’s league.

Reading did the damage on Sunday at Sonning Lane in what became a battle of the penalty corners. Richard Mantell punched in three for the home side, answered by corners from Gareth Carr and Glenn Kirkham for East Grinstead.

Three wins in a row has now pushed Reading into fourth place in the division.

East Grinstead still have a clear lead over Beeston at the top of the table after beating the Midlanders 5-1 in Nottingham on Saturday. Although the Bees closed the gap back to five points with a 6-2 home win over Brooklands MU on Sunday.

Surbiton’s 4-1 win over Canterbury consolidated their hold on third position. Loughborough Students’ 2-0 win at Cannock and Hampstead and Westminster’s 2-2 draw at Bowdon sees the students in the fifth playoff spot with three games to go.

In the women’ premier, Leicester leapfrogged Canterbury into first place with a 1-0 win in Kent on Saturday. Leicester are now one point ahead of Canterbury with a game in hand. Again penalty corners were decisive with Crista Cullen netting the only goal of the game just before half time.

There are pictures from the Reading East Grinstead game in our gallery (thanks to Ian Wood).

For full league tables and results:

Men’s Table

Women’s Table