Hockey: Reading's comeback opens gap at summit

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The Independent Online

Reading twice came from behind away to Loughborough Students, Howard Husking, Andy Watts and Richard Mantell cancelling out two goals from Jon Bleby for a 3-2 victory that moves them two points clear of Cannock at the top of the Premier Division.

On Saturday the Students sprung the surprise of the season when they beat defending champions Cannock 2-1 at the Morris ground thanks to goals from Glenn Kirkham and Paul Wicken. Cannock ended a disappointing weekend yesterday when they were held 3-3 by Hampstead and Westminster.

A hat-trick from the former Loughborough Student David de Prez gave Chelmsford a 3-0 victory over Beeston which moved them to the top of division one. David Carter, Chelmsford's young goalkeeper who was seriously injured in a motor accident after leaving the Higgins Group Indoor Finals at Crystal Palace last month and came out of hospital on Friday, was present to join the celebrations.

Another ex-Loughborough Student, the England international Cathy Gilliat-Smith, scored twice for Chelmsford's women as they moved two points clear at the top of the women's premier division after a 3-1 victory over Clifton. Hightown, with a 5-0 victory against Fyffes, took the opportunity to move into second place.

Celebrations at Chelmsford were dampened a little with the news that Slough had been relegated from the 'A' division of the Women's European Indoor Club Championship in Germany and that Chelmsford, this year's winners of the English championship, would have to play in the 'B' division next year.

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