Burnet Double Helps Clifton Robinsons Make Winning Start in Investec Premier Division
TWO goals from Fiona Burnet helped Clifton Robinsons kick off the new Investec Women's Hockey League Premier Division season with a 2-0 home victory over Leicester.
The two sides were separated by just a single point last season and there was nothing to split them at the break, neither side able to break the deadlock.
Burnet made the breakthrough, converting a penalty corner six minutes after the restart before doubling Clifton's lead nine minutes from time to secure the points.
Elsewhere, a brace from Giselle Ansley was only enough to give defending champions Surbiton a share of the points as they were held to a 2-2 draw at battling Canterbury.
Ansley was leading scorer with 15 goals last season and gave the visitors the lead with a penalty stroke on 31 minutes.
Sarah Kerly equalised for Canterbury before the break, but Ansley's second penalty stroke of the afternoon looked to have given Surbiton all three points seven minutes from time.
The hosts were not to be denied though, Grace Balsdon converting a penalty stroke of her own in the final minute to rescue a point.
Buckingham had an unsuccessful return to the top flight as they went down to a 3-1 loss in Slough.
Mel Ball and Lizzy Totten both scored penalty corners for Slough before Phoebe Richards pulled one back for the visitors in a frantic opening quarter of an hour.
The scored stayed that way until eleven minutes from time, when Charly Brydon scored for the hosts to wrap up the points.
Bowdon were the only side to win away from home, Natalie Wray scoring a brace in their 3-1 victory against the University of Birmingham.
Jane Donnelly scored the other goal after Katelyn Aitchinson had pulled one back for Birmingham in the first half.
East Grinstead and Holcombe could not be separated in their clash, the match moved to Tonbridge School ended in a goalless draw.
Investec Conference North
Sutton Coldfield and Brooklands Poynton are the early joint leaders of the Investec Women's Conference North after they both recorded opening day home victories.
Sutton Coldfield got off to the perfect start against Liverpool Sefton with Bethan Merriman notching after just two minutes. Liverpool equalised through Sarah Bazley-Harrison but goals from Jane Sixsmith and Emma Mccabe sealed the points for the home side with a 3-1 win.
Goals from Helen Turner, Annie Mills and Tor Hughes saw Brooklands Poynton beat the University of Durham by the same scoreline, Connie Vickers had levelled the scores for the visitors.
Ben Rhydding's home game against newcomers Fylde ended in a 1-1 draw, Sophia Crawshay securing a point for the visitors in the final minute.
Elsewhere, Beeston beat Loughborough Students 2-0 and Wakefield were 1-0 winners over Timperley.
Investec Conference East
Bedford started their Investec Women's Conference East season with a bang, prevailing 5-2 away at St Albans.
Kate Costin, Clare Bilham, Zoe Burford, Sam Turner and Rachel Jackson were all on target in the win, Nakira Downes and Katie Hockley scoring for St Albans.
Joyce Esser hit a brace as Hampstead and Westminster won 4-0 at Southgate, Annabel Driver and Hayley Turner were also on the scoresheet.
Cambridge City hit three without reply in their win against Chelmsford, Katie Curtis, Rebecca Daniel and Rebecca Hayward scoring the goals.
Barnes were 2-0 victors over Harleston Magpies with goals from Michelle Stone and Abbie Smith whilst Sevenoaks claimed a 1-0 win at Wimbledon courtesy of a Sophie Crossley strike.
Investec Conference West
Trojans made an impressive start to their season, running out 6-0 winners against Oxford Hawks in the Investec Women's Conference West.
Cat Horn opened their account after just four minutes and five more goals followed, including a double from Heather Batten with Bex Ahern, Jess Lea and Jill Tombs all scoring.
Stourport were also big winners as Claire Pearson hit a brace in a 5-0 win over Team Bath Buccaneers. Hannah Corcoran, Sarah Cavendish and Lora Symonds were also on target.
Reading beat Olton and West Warwicks 2-0, whilst Gloucester City left it late with a 61st minute goal from Charlotte McShane handing them a 1-0 win at Cannock.
Meanwhile Isca and Swansea City both drew a blank as their game finished goalless.
* The attached photo shows Clifton Robinsons' Fiona Burnet celebrating a goal against Leicester. Credit: Peter Smith.
* Full results, tables and fixtures from the Investec Women's Hockey League is available here http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/page_noside.asp?section=2342§ionTitle=Fixtures%2C+Results+%26+Standings
This report has been provided on behalf of England Hockey by Snowdon Sports.
About England Hockey
England Hockey is the national governing body for hockey in England. It is responsible for the governance and development of the sport in this country from the grass roots and domestic level to preparing the Great Britain teams for the Olympic Games and other International events, on behalf of and with the support of the other home nations, Scotland and Wales. For more information about England Hockey and the programmes available go to www.englandhockey.co.uk and www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk
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About Investec, principal sponsor of the Investec Women's Hockey League
Investec is an international specialist bank and asset manager that provides a diverse range of financial products and services to a select client base. The group was established in 1974 and has core activities in the UK, South Africa and Australia.
Investec focuses on delivering distinctive profitable solutions for its clients in three core areas of activity, namely Specialist Banking, Wealth & Investment and Asset Management.
Investec also sponsors the England & GB Women's Hockey teams, English Test Cricket, the Investec Derby Festival, the South African Women's Hockey team, the Investec Rugby Championship and Investec Super Rugby in New Zealand.