THE Investec Women’s Hockey League springs back into action on Saturday, and there are some mouth-watering clashes in prospect.
Surbiton lifted the Investec Women’s Championship trophy last term. On their way to victory they beat hosts Reading 4-1 in the semi final, and they face them again on the opening day of the season at Sugden Road.
“We’re taking it as it comes and trying to win every game,” said Surbiton captain Sarah Haycroft.
“We have more pressure as champions but we have a good squad who can cope with that. Reading are always tough and play a similar style to us. Canterbury we sometimes struggle with and it’s always good and competitive against them.”
The team that Surbiton beat in the final back in April, Canterbury head to Beeston, while Clifton entertain Premier Division newcomers Buckingham in a tough start for the Investec Conference West champions who lost just twice in the league last season.
The other new side in the top flight, Holcombe won the Investec Conference East last term by a massive 14 points and they start their Premier Division campaign with a home match against Bowdon Hightown.
And Leicester – who missed out on a place at the finals weekend by the narrowest of margins – will be aiming to hit the ground running with victory at the University of Birmingham.
In the Investec Conference East, last season’s runners-up East Grinstead head to Sevenoaks who finished fourth last term, while newcomers Bedford and Maidenhead entertain Horsham and Harleston Magpies respectively.
After losing out in the promotion play-offs last term, Investec Conference North champions Brooklands Poynton begin their 2014-15 campaign with a match against Ben Rhydding.
And in the Investec Conference West, runners-up Slough have a tough start against Trojans who battled to fourth last season.
Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, September 13 2014)
Investec Premier Division
Investec Conference North
Brooklands Poynton v Ben Rhydding 11:45
University of Durham v Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 12:00
Liverpool Sefton v Loughborough Students 12:30
Wakefield v Cannock 13:00
Sutton Coldfield v Kendal 14:00