Students warm up for league resumption
With regional hockey now back in full swing and the national indoor season over, outdoor England Hockey League games resume next weekend.
Promotion-chasing University of Exeter play their first Men's Hockey League match of 2013 at fifth-placed University of Birmingham on Saturday (12.30pm).
The third-placed Greens have only lost twice in ten Men's Conference West matches, 2-1 away to promotion rivals Cardiff and UWIC in round nine and 3-1 at home to University of Birmingham on day one of the national league season last September.
The majority of Exeter's national league side will warm-up for Saturday's game in Birmingham in tomorrow's home British Universities and Colleges Sport Premier South game against Bristol University at University of Exeter Sports Park (3pm).
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Exeter are second in BUCS Premier South – 12 points above basement side Bristol and six points behind leaders Bath – and are also on a four-match winning streak.
Isca University return to Women's Conference West action at Southampton team Trojans on Sunday (noon).
The game could go a long way to deciding who finishes runners-up to runaway leaders and title favourites Buckingham, chasing their third successive Conference West championship crown.
Buckingham boast a perfect record of tens wins and 30 points, ten ahead of second-placed Trojans, who are only a point ahead of Isca.
Buckingham have hit 30 goals but that is only three more than free-scoring Isca, skippered by 12-goal top scorer Claire Thomas, from Devon.
Thomas is the leading scorer in Conference West and is second only to Beeston's 19-goal ace Sophie Robinson in the Women's Hockey League scoring charts.
Like their men's team, University of Exeter women's firsts host Bristol University tomorrow (1pm).
Exeter top the women's BUCS Premier South table with two rounds remaining and a February 6 trip to bottom club University of Gloucestershire in the offing.
Davis Wood Hockey League leaders Isca took another giant step towards promotion after a 6-0 Premiership win over tenth-placed Swindon ahead of next Saturday's top-of-the-table derby at University of Exeter A. Another hat-trick from Jon Wright took his goal tally to 19 in 15 games.
Jordan Hussell – with his fifth goal in three games – Rick McCollum and skipper Simon Tremlett also scored for Isca, now eight points ahead of University of Exeter A.