THERE were thrilling finishes to both semi finals in the Women’s Maxifuel Super Sixes Championship, which ended with Reading and Sutton Coldfield securing victories at a packed Arena Sport in Kettering on Saturday evening.
Beaten finalists last year, Reading gained revenge for that loss when they beat reigning champions Leicester 3-2 in a nail-biting match in front of a capacity crowd.
Leading two-nil at half time, Reading held their nerve in the second period to clinch a 3-2 victory despite Leicester hitting back hard in search of a way back into the match.
In the later stages Leicester took off goalkeeper Maddie Hinch and resorted to playing Hannah Smith as a kicking back in search of a vital goal, and they hit the net twice in the final six minutes through Jo Hunter and Nic White.
But Reading’s defence held firm and they booked their place at the final at Wembley on January 27.
Reading had opened their account through Becky Halle after ten minutes, and doubled their lead four minutes later with Lindsay Molyneux scoring. They went three-nil up through Sam Quek before Leicester took desperate measures to claw their way back.
And in the day’s other semi final, Sutton Coldfield scored twice in the last 30 seconds to book their place in the final against Reading.
Trailing 2-3 to Bowdon Hightown, late goals from kicking back Jenny Parkinson and captain Vicky Woolford with just five seconds remaining saw them grab victory from the jaws of defeat.
Bowdon’s lead was built on goals from Fay Nash, Michelle Liptrot and Sian French. But Sutton Coldfield go through thanks to crucial goals from Charlotte Cross and Laura Unsworth as well as Parkinson and Woolford.
* In the battle to reach the Premier Division, East Grinstead and Harleston Magpies look likely to finish in the top two of the Maxifuel Women’s Division One table.
Level on 16 points each following the penultimate round of matches on Saturday, they are both five points ahead of the next best team and only need a draw from Sunday’s two matches to be sure of a place in the top flight next season.
And in the Men’s Maxifuel Super Sixes Division One, Holcombe lead the way in the race to join the Premier Division next season, having won all six of their matches so far.
They continued their dominance today with victories over Bournville and Havant, and will be aiming to preserve top spot in Sunday’s final games.
Women’s Maxifuel Super Sixes Championship
Premier Division, semi finals: Leicester 2, Reading 3; Sutton Coldfield 4, Bowdon Hightown 3.
Division One: Bristol Firebrands 2, Surbiton 7; Trojans 3, Harleston Magpies 4; Sevenoaks 1, Brooklands Poynton 2; Horsham 2, Wakefield Bradford 5; East Grinstead 6, Bristol Firebrands 0; Surbiton 4, Trojans 1; Harleston Magpies 6, Sevenoaks 2; Brooklands Poynton 5, Horsham 5; Wakefield Bradford 2, East Grinstead 9.
Men’s Maxifuel Super Sixes Championship
Division One: Harleston Magpies 4, Havant 6; Holcombe 5, Bournville 2; Hampstead & Westminster 7, Brooklands MU 5; Sevenoaks 13, St Albans 1; Southgate 5, Harleston Magpies 3; Havant 2, Holcombe 9; Bournville 2, Hampstead & Westminster 10; Brooklands MU 3, Sevenoaks 9; St Albans 2, Southgate 7.
Click here for the latest league tables and results
Tickets for the Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals at Wembley Arena on Sunday 27 January 2013 are available now. Enjoy top class hockey, meet the teams and have a fun, affordable day out with family and friends! Support your local team’s quest to be crowned Maxifuel Super Sixes Champions 2013. For more information and to purchase your tickets for the finals at Wembley please visit www.englandhockey.co.uk/maxifuelsupersixes
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images