[img_assist|nid=3021|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=200|height=58]The showpiece finale of the domestic hockey season takes place this weekend with national titles and prize money at stake.
The Investec women’s finals weekend at Reading Hockey Club’s Sonning Lane ground will play host to the Investec women’s championship final between Reading and Leicester, as well as the promotion tournament for entry into next season’s women’s premier division.
It will also see the culmination of four national competitions and the men’s England Hockey League championship, with East Grinstead men awaiting the winner of Saturday’s playoff between defending champions Beeston and Reading.
Thanks to the backing of Investec, prize money totalling £10,000 will be distributed to the tournament winners, individuals and clubs over the weekend. The specialist bank and asset manager supports women’s hockey in England and for the first time, prize money will be awarded to each of the winners of the Investec regional conferences.
On Saturday, four finals will be settled. The final of the Investec women’s trophy sees Tulse Hill & Dulwich of South London take on newly merged Oxford and in the Investec women’s vase Milton Keynes’ ladies take on Oxted. Cheshire Club Bowdon Hightown take on Horsham of West Sussex in the first masters event, the Over 35 plate final, before the over 35 cup final is contested by Canterbury and Exe of Exeter.
The three winners of the conferences, Buckingham (Investec Conference West), Surbiton (Investec Conference East) and Beeston (Investec Conference North) are also in action alongside Slough, who finished ninth in the Investec Women’s premier division, as they seek promotion to the top flight. Of the four, just two will earn the right to play in the premier division next season.
The climax of the weekend comes on Sunday afternoon as the Investec women’s championship and men’s England Hockey League championship titles are decided. Reading and Leicester women will do battle 12 months after they met in last season’s final, a match that Reading edged 3-2 thanks to goals from Jo Ellis, GB captain Kate Walsh and Emma Thomas.
The men’s final line-up will only be known on Saturday after Beeston’s match against Reading at Bisham Abbey. The winner of that match will play East Grinstead in the final at Reading HC on Sunday. In last season’s final, Beeston beat East Grinstead 2-1.
Tickets for the weekend’s action are still on sale via http://tickets.englandhockey.co.uk starting at just £4. Tickets will be available on the door starting at £5 for concessions and £7 for adults.
Investec Women’s Finals Weekend, Reading Hockey Club
Saturday April 14, 2012
10:00 – Investec Women’s Promotion Tournament Match 3 – Surbiton v Slough
12:00 – Investec Women’s Promotion Tournament Match 4 – Buckingham v Beeston
12:00 – Investec Women’s Over 35 Plate Final – Bowdon Hightown v Horsham
14:00 – Investec Women’s Trophy Final – Tulse Hill & Dulwich v Oxford
14:00 – Investec Women’s Over 35 Cup Final – Canterbury v Exe
16:00 – Investec Women’s Vase Final – Milton Keynes v Oxted,
Sunday April 15, 2012
10:00 – Investec Women’s Promotion Tournament Match 5 – Slough v Buckingham
12:00 – Investec Women’s Promotion Tournament Match 6 – Beeston v Surbiton
14:15 – Investec Women’s Championship Final – Reading v Leicester
16:30 – Men’s EHL Championship Final – East Grinstead v Beeston/Reading