Surbiton Ladies make the long trip to Altrincham to play Bowdon Hightown on Saturday. As it’s the last round of matches for the regular season, all games start at 2 pm.
The game will be played at Bowdon Hockey Club, South Downs Road, Bowdon, Altrincham, WA14 3DT.
Bowdon Hightown have no relegation fears and can’t make the playoffs, but this doesn’t mean that the match won’t mean anything as Bowdon can finish in sixth with a win if Beeston lose.
Bowdon were bottom of the table on 3 November, but subsequent consistent form has seen them rise to seventh in the table, leaving Slough and the University of Birmingham to fight it out to avoid the Promotion Tournament.
A 2-0 defeat to Holcombe was followed by a 2-2 home draw with Canterbury, whose automatic relegation was confirmed only last week. A 1-1 draw at Beeston and a 2-1 loss at Buckingham plus a 6-0 loss at Surbiton saw Bowdon drop to tenth and fight against relegation.
They stayed there for two more weeks, drawing 2-2 at home to the University of Birmingham and losing 4-1 at Clifton Robinsons before their first win of the season came at home to East Grinstead on 10 November with a 1-0 scoreline.
Bowdon then began to find their form but not without brief setbacks. A 2-2 draw at Slough and a 2-0 home win over Buckingham saw them reach the dizzy heights of seventh place where they have largely remained ever since apart from a week in sixth place in March.
A 2-1 defeat at Beeston preceded a 4-1 home win over Slough and a 2-1 win at Canterbury as their season began to gather pace. Clifton Robinsons completed the double with a 2-1 win in Altrincham, but a last gasp 1-1 draw with leaders, Holcombe was immediately followed by a key 1-0 win at the University of Birmingham which sent them up to sixth place before coming down to earth with a bump as East Grinstead handed out a 4-0 defeat in West Sussex last weekend.
Aine Curran is Bowdon’s top scorer with six goals, well supported by Rosie Bailey on five. Megan Batchelor and Sian French have each found the net on three occasions and Charlene Mason and Tilly Dyos-Szolkowska have scored twice each with Julie Whiting scoring on one occasion.
Although Surbiton are three points behind leaders, Holcombe, Surbiton can still finish top with a win at Bowdon if Holcombe unexpectedly slip up at Canterbury as both teams have an identical goal difference, therefore Surbiton would finish top on goal difference.
Buckingham will be looking to clinch the final playoff place with a win over Slough, who also need to win to have any chance of overtaking Birmingham. Clifton Robinsons will be waiting in the wings if Buckingham fall at the final hurdle.
The University of Birmingham can consign Slough to the Promotion Tournament with a home win over Beeston.