[img_assist|nid=6596|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=82|height=100]LONDON, November 23 – After three wins in a row in the Investec women’s hockey league, Reading are targeting a place in the top four of the premier division when they entertain Berkshire neighbours Slough on Sunday.
The clash could see Reading – who finished top of the table last season and only narrowly lost out in the championship final – climb up to fourth place for the first time this season.
Reading were missing several of their GB Olympic stars for the first six matches of the season and only managed to beat Slough in that time.
“If you can be in the top four at Christmas that’s great,” said Reading’s Olympic medallist Helen Richardson. “As long as you’re within touching distance that’s OK.
“But if we can actually get in the top four it would give us a massive boost, especially after the start we’ve had, because then it’s all in your hands.
“I’m massively looking forward to playing at home again. It’s always a great atmosphere and it’s a double header with the men on Sunday, so there should be a good crowd down there.”
Meanwhile, leaders Canterbury face Sutton Coldfield – the West Midlands side who held them to a 3-3 draw earlier in the season. And second-placed Leicester travel to Clifton on Saturday and could go top if Canterbury slip up.
Bowdon Hightown will be aiming to stay in the top four when they go to the University of Birmingham, and third-placed Surbiton entertain Olton and West Warwickshire.
While Beeston and University and Durham are currently well clear, the other teams in the conference north need to start closing the gap if they are to maintain their promotion hopes.
This Saturday’s clash between Loughborough Students and Brooklands Poynton could prove vital to their hopes, with the two teams lying third and fourth respectively.
Unbeaten leaders Buckingham travel to second-placed Isca in the conference west on Saturday for what could prove their toughest challenge yet.
And conference east leaders Harleston Magpies entertain Oxford Hawks, while second-placed Sevenoaks need to beat Bromley and Beckenham to keep pace with their rivals.
Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, November 24 2012)
Canterbury v Sutton Coldfield 11:45
Univ of Birmingham v Bowdon Hightown 12:30
Clifton v Leicester 13:00
Surbiton v Olton & West Warwicks 14:00
Sunday: Reading v Slough 12:30
Harleston Magpies v Oxford Hawks 12:30
Old Loughtonians v Wimbledon 13:00
Ipswich v Horsham 14:00
Chelmsford v St Albans 14:00
Sevenoaks v Bromley & Beckenham 17:00
Liverpool Sefton v Doncaster 12:30
Loughborough Students v Brooklands Poynton 12:30
Cannock v Whitley Bay & Tynemouth 13:30
Ben Rhydding v Univ of Durham 13:30
Wakefield Bradford v Beeston 13:30
Bristol Firebrands v Trojans 11:30
Stourport v Swansea City 12:00
Isca v Buckingham 12:30
Taunton Vale v Gloucester City 13:30
Staines v Barnes Hounslow Ealing 13:30