Battle for play-off places goes to the wire

[img_assist|nid=6260|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=68|height=100]ENGLAND, March 22 – The battle for the final play-off spot in the Investec Women’s Premier Division goes down to the wire tomorrow, with Surbiton and Bowdon Hightown both hoping to clinch the final place in the end of season championship.

Surbiton currently occupy fourth spot, but face leaders Canterbury in a tough test. Meanwhile, Bowdon Hightown are just one point behind and entertain Clifton in their final league match.

“We’ve put maximum effort into training this week and we’re all looking forward to it,” said Bowdon Hightown manager Dieter Hill. “All we can do is win our game and hope.

“We’re desperate to reach the play-offs, that was our big aim at the start of the season – but that’s only job number one. We’ve got to reach the Cup final too. We’ve won the Cup more than any other club in the league, so we want to keep up our record.”

Elsewhere, Leicester entertain Slough as they bid to take top spot away from Canterbury. Third-placed Reading are also at home against Sutton Coldfield, while at the foot of the table ninth plays eighth as Olton and West Warwickshire host University of Birmingham in a crucial relegation derby.  A three goal win for Olton would see them escape the relegation play-off at the expense of the students.    

In the Investec Conference East, the top two play each other in a thrilling finish to the season. If visitors Sevenoaks beat leaders Harleston Magpies by four goals or more they will overtake their rivals and book their place in the promotion play-offs.

In the Investec Conference North Beeston are all but mathematically certain of the title and they will hope to celebrate with a win at home to Whitley Bay & Tynemouth.  Liverpool Sefton and Cannock are both battling to avoid automatic relegation. Liverpool Sefton go to Wakefield Bradford, while Cannock travel to University of Durham.

The same applies in the Investec Conference West, with Staines and Taunton Vale in the mix. Victory for Staines at home against Bristol Firebrands will mean they avoid automatic relegation, while Taunton Vale will need to beat Barnes Hounslow Ealing – and hope Staines lose – to avoid the drop.


Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, March 23 2013)

Investec Premier Division

Bowdon Hightown v Clifton 14:00

Leicester v Slough 14:00

Olton & West Warwicks v Univ of Birmingham 14:00

Reading v Sutton Coldfield 14:00

Surbiton v Canterbury 14:00

Investec Conference East

Bromley & Beckenham v St Albans 14:00

Chelmsford v Old Loughtonians 14:00

Harleston Magpies v Sevenoaks 14:00

Ipswich v Wimbledon 14:00

Oxford Hawks v Horsham 14:00

Investec Conference North

Beeston v Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 14:00

Brooklands Poynton v Ben Rhydding 14:00

Loughborough Students v Doncaster 14:00

Univ of Durham v Cannock 14:00

Wakefield Bradford v Liverpool Sefton 14:00

Investec Conference West

Barnes Hounslow Ealing v Taunton Vale 14:00

Buckingham v Stourport 14:00

Gloucester City v Trojans 14:00

Staines v Bristol Firebrands 14:00

Swansea City v Isca University 14:00

Investec Women’s Cup, semi finals (Sunday, March 24 2013)

Buckingham v Bowdon Hightown 12:00

Clifton v Sutton Coldfield 12:30