Reading move into first place as Canterbury falter

[img_assist|nid=6596|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=82|height=100]Reading jumped to the top of the table on Saturday with a 2-1 win over hosts Surbiton in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Alex Danson and Rebecca Halle put the visitors two goals up, and although Chloe Strong hit back for Surbiton it wasn’t enough.

Beeston brought Canterbury’s unbeaten record to a grinding halt as they ran out 3-1 winners.

Sophie Robinson gave Beeston the lead after 31 minutes, slotting the ball in from open play. Erica Sanders doubled the home side’s advantage three minutes later. 

Canterbury weren’t going to surrender their 100 per cent record easily and Nikki Kidd pulled one back with a penalty stroke four minutes after the restart.

Beeston were then put under huge pressure by Canterbury, but they soaked it up and clinched the win with Robinson’s second on 42 minutes.

Canterbury’s defeat allowed teams below to make up some ground, but Bowdon Hightown blew their chance as they lost 4-0 to University of Birmingham. 

Abi Porter’s 28th minute strike gave the university side the lead at the break and further goals from Lily Owsley, Fay Curran and Ashley Caddick gave them their first win of the season.

Despite their points deduction (see below), Clifton could’ve climbed above Canterbury with a win but they were facing last year’s play-off finalists Leicester. 

Clifton twice had the lead from Els Mansell goals but Leicester fought back through Kerry Whitehead and Lily Elliott to make it 2-2. 

Emma Mccabe scored a hat-trick as Sutton Coldfield took their first win of the season. They faced Olton and West Warwickshire who are rock bottom and ran out 6-1 winners.

Rosie Bailey, Sarah Jennings and Emma Wooton were also on target for Sutton Coldfield and Emma Rosser got the consolation for the away side.

In the Investec Conference West, Buckingham looked to have an easy game on paper, facing second bottom Exe who have yet to win this season.

But Buckingham, who are yet to drop a point, struggled as Exe took their game to the league toppers. Only one goal separated the sides at full time after Kitty Higgins swept home from a corner to give Buckingham a 1-0 win.

University of Durham still top the Investec Conference North after their 3-0 victory over Boots. Philippa Lewis found the target twice in the second half and Alice Toynton scored the other.

Holcombe remain unbeaten in the Investec Conference West, their latest victory came against Sevenoaks courtesy of a strike from Julia Cass and an own goal.

Clifton have been deducted one point for fielding an incorrectly registered player. This decision was made by the IWHL/NPMHL committee and relates to the registration of Helena Faust  who was incorrectly registered and played in their game against Surbiton on 14 September. The club were also fined. The club can appeal against the penalties.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (October 12 2013):

Investec Premier Division: Beeston 3, Canterbury 1; Clifton 2, Leicester 2; Surbiton 1, Reading 2; Sutton Coldfield 6, Olton & West Warwicks 1; University of Birmingham 4, Bowdon 0. 

Investec Conference East: Harleston Magpies 2, Chelmsford 2; Holcombe 2, Sevenoaks 1; Old Loughtonians 2, Horsham 1; St. Albans 2, East Grinstead 2; Wimbledon 2, Ipswich 1.

Investec Conference North: Brooklands Poynton 3, Ben Rhydding 0; Loughborough Students 2, Kendal 1; Stourport 0, Wakefield 1; University of Durham 3, Boots 0; Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 3, Doncaster 1.

Investec Conference West: Barnes 1, Trojans 2; Exe 0, Buckingham 1; Gloucester City 5, Isca 0; Slough 3, Bristol Firebrands 1; Swansea City 1, Oxford Hawks 0.