Ladies play-off hopes dashed by defeat to Buckingham

Buckingham climbed to fourth in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division with a 2-1 win over Beeston, boosting their hopes of reaching the play-offs.

Hosts Beeston made them work for it and went ahead through Rosy Stephens’ 25th minute goal from open play.

Buckingham hit back after the break with Lottie Porter equalising from a penalty corner before Natasha James completed the comeback in the 59th minute.

With Clifton Robinsons losing to Slough, Buckingham leap-frog them into fourth place.

Surbiton moved to within a point of league leaders Holcombe with a 2-0 win over bottom of the table Canterbury.

After being held by Canterbury through the first half, Alice Sharp got Surbiton off the mark with a 40th minute field goal. The tie was eventually settled two minutes from time as Georgie Twigg scored via penalty corner, giving Surbiton a 2-0 win.

Bowdon Hightown did Surbiton a favour, battling to a 1-1 stalemate with leaders Holcombe.

Olivia Wilde opened the scoring, giving Holcombe a 19th minute lead but their hopes of three points were dashed as Megan Batchelor scored just four seconds from the final whistle for Bowdon Hightown.

Slough haltered Clifton Robinsons progress with a shock 2-0 victory.

Clifton had been hoping to make it four wins since Christmas, but goals from Philipa Newton and Lizzy Totten dictated otherwise.

Sophie Bray was in fine form as she racked up a hat-trick of goals for East Grinstead in their 3-1 home win over University of Birmingham.

Amy Costello equalised for the University of Birmingham in the eighth minute but the hosts were too strong in the end. East Grinstead stay third, four points behind top of the table.

n