[img_assist|nid=6349|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=99|height=100]LEICESTER, October 21 – Reigning Investec women’s hockey league premier division champions Leicester gave their 2012-13 season a massive shot in the arm when they beat arch rivals Reading 5-0 on Saturday.
A hat-trick of goals from Katie Long helped underpin the victory, which was their third win in the league this season and moves Leicester up to fifth spot. Other scorers for the hosts were Nicola White and Jo Hunter.Elsewhere, the top four all secured victories.
Leaders Canterbury beat Clifton 4-2, with Eliza Brett, Sarah Kerly and Lisa Hapke all scoring, while Clifton conceded an own goal. Steph Addison and Els Mansell scored for the visitors, but it was not enough.
Sutton Coldfield recovered from a 1-0 deficit to win 4-1 at Olton and West Warwickshire. The hosts had gone ahead through Naomi James on seven minutes, but hit back to win with Vicky Woolford scoring two, and others coming from Jane Sixsmith and Sarah Mills.
Surbiton secured the points at University of Birmingham with a 2-1 win, Amy Bryant scoring on 25 minutes and Emma Batten on 56 minutes.
And Bowdon Hightown also took a deserved away win, beating hosts Slough 4-1. Nat Wray scored after just three minutes, while Tina Cullen added two and Fay Nash one. Kat Mcgonigle pulled one back on 66 minutes, but it was just a consolation.
In the Investec conference west, leaders Buckingham struggled to beat Swansea City and could only scrape a 1-0 victory over their rivals.
Now on six wins from six matches and five points clear of their nearest rivals, Buckingham did just enough with Jess Bloom scoring from a penalty corner on 37 minutes.
Meanwhile, second-placed Isca kept pace with Buckingham when they beat Gloucester City 2-1 with goals from Claire Thomas and Carla Dunnett.
Leaders Beeston blitzed their rivals Liverpool Sefton in the Investec conference north, winning 12-0 with Hollie Webb and Sophie Robinson both scoring hat-tricks.
Nikki Ward and Ellie Watton scored two each, while Ciara Bamford also scored and Liverpool conceded an own goal.
And second-placed University of Durham ran out 3-0 winners at Brooklands Poynton with Cherry Seaborn, Joanne Lane and Anna Thompson scoring their goals.
Finally, Sevenoaks remain at the top of the Investec conference east following their 2-0 home win over Old Loughtonians. Katy Hornsby and Lucy Wood scored the goals which gave them their fourth win in six league matches so far.
Investec Premier Division: Canterbury 4, Clifton 2; Leicester 5, Reading 0; Olton & West Warwicks 1, Sutton Coldfield 4; Slough 1, Bowdon 4; University of Birmingham 1, Surbiton 2.
Investec Conference East: Bromley and Beckenham 0, Ipswich 2; Chelmsford 3, Harleston Magpies 4; Sevenoaks 2, Old Loughtonians 0; St. Albans 2, Oxford Hawks 1; Wimbledon 1, Horsham 0.
Investec Conference North: Beeston 12, Liverpool Sefton 0; Ben Rhydding 0, Loughborough Students LHC 4; Brooklands Poynton 0, University of Durham 3; Cannock 1, Wakefield 2; Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 2, Doncaster 1.
Investec Conference West: Bristol Firebrands 1, Barnes 1; Buckingham 1, Swansea City 0; Isca 2, Gloucester City 1; Stourport 4, Staines 0; Trojans 4, Taunton Vale 1.