Holcombe have one foot in the play-offs

Kent side win in Birmingham
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Holcombe celebrate. File picture: Andy Smith

Holcombe took a giant step towards the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division play-offs with a 2-1 win at University of Birmingham thanks to two goals from Sarah Robertson.

Alice Sharp pulled one back for Birmingham after Robertson’s goals had given the visitors a comfortable lead, but the defeat puts a major dent in their play-off aspirations.

The victory for Holcombe opens up a four point gap on the chasing pack after Leicester could only manage to draw 1-1 with Bowdon Hightown, for whom Lisa-Emma Crew rescued a point after Liz George had put Leicester in front.

At the other end Beeston were left clinging to their top-flight status by a thread after going down 3-2 at home to Surbiton, with Rebecca Herbert scoring the decisive goal for the league leaders as they warmed up for April’s play-offs at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

Buckingham were beaten 2-1 at home by Clifton to remain anxiously close to the relegation places, with Amie Hone scoring their goal. They stay locked in a battle with Bowdon Hightown to avoid being pulled into the relegation play-off.

Investec Conference West

Slough maintained their five-point lead in the Investec Conference West, but were held to a 1-1 draw by second-placed Swansea City on Saturday.

The Welsh side took the lead through Sophie Clayton from open play after just 12 minutes, but Slough levelled with Amy Turnbull on 26 minutes and the score remained unchanged through the second half.

Third-placed Gloucester City closed the gap on Swansea with a 2-1 win over Cheltenham, while Trojans beat Bristol Firebrands 2-0. Elsewhere, two goals from Mandy Gatherer helped Olton and West Warwicks beat higher-placed Isca University 3-1.

Investec Conference North

Wakefield maintained their three-point lead at the top of the Investec Conference North with a comfortable 4-1 win over Sutton Coldfield.

Sally Walton scored twice for the league leaders who keep Brooklands Poynton at arm’s length, despite Helen Turner helping the team in second to a 1-0 win at the University of Durham.

At the bottom Cannock finally registered their first win of the season to give themselves a fighting chance of avoiding the drop, with Lucy Spencer’s early goal helping them to a 1-0 win at Liverpool Sefton.

Kendal remain mired in relegation trouble after they were beaten 4-2 by Ben Rhydding, whilst Loughborough Students won 1-0 at Whitley Bay and Tynemouth.

Investec Conference East

East Grinstead wrapped up the Investec Conference East title with a dominant 7-0 win over struggling Ipswich. Sophie Bray bagged a hat-trick to confirm her side’s place in the promotion play-offs.

Second place Sevenoaks slipped out of the running for promotion when they lost out 2-1 at St Albans. Ellie Watton and Amy Kee had put the home side ahead, rendering Jet Van Zalen’s strike four minutes from time a consolation.

Horsham remain bottom after they were beaten 6-1 by Wimbledon, but ninth place Bedford failed to take advantage going down 5-1 at Harleston Magpies.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, February 28 2015):

Investec Women's Premier Division: Beeston 2, Surbiton 3; Buckingham 1, Clifton 2; Leicester 1, Bowdon 1; University of Birmingham 1, Holcombe 2.

Investec Women's Conference West: Gloucester City 2, Cheltenham 1; Olton & West Warwicks 3, Isca 1; Oxford Hawks 2, Stourport 2; Swansea City 1, Slough 1; Trojans 2, Bristol Firebrands 0.

Investec Women's Conference North: Ben Rhydding 4, Kendal 2; Cannock 1, Liverpool Sefton 0; University of Durham 0, Brooklands Poynton 1; Wakefield 4, Sutton Coldfield 1; Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 0, Loughborough Students 1.

Investec Women's Conference East: Harleston Magpies 5, Bedford 1; Ipswich 0, East Grinstead 7; Maidenhead 0, Chelmsford 0; St. Albans 2, Sevenoaks 1; Wimbledon 6, Horsham 1.