Hockey: Classy Cannock turn on style to retain their title

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The Independent Online

Cannock, the defending champions, retained their title on the last day of the League season with an emphatic 5-0 victory away at Chigwell against Old Loughtonians to ensure their ninth successive European season next year.

Simon Ramsden and Martin Jones both scored twice with their young GB international Barry Middleton completing the scoring. A late goal from Andy Todd, which gave nearest rivals Reading a 3-2 win at home to Hampstead and Westminster, would have been enough to give the Berkshire club the title had Cannock faltered. The teams will now meet in the Premiership play-offs next Sunday at Canterbury.

Elsewhere, Surbiton and Loughborough Students played out a niggly 1-1 draw.

In the Women's Premier, Hightown's player coach Tina Cullen scored a hat trick in their 5-5 draw with Olton to take her League total of goals to 201.

The three remaining play-off places were claimed by Doncaster, with a surprise 3-2 win over Clifton, Canterbury, 3-2 winners at Slough. However, the Berkshire club, despite defeat, took the last place on goal difference from Leicester, Sutton Coldfield and Olton.