Hockey: Students still champions as last-ditch rally preserves run

Loughborough Students and Slough retained their Premier titles in the Higgins Group National Indoor Leagues in Kidderminster yesterday.

Students won the men's title with a 100 per cent record but struggled to beat East Grinstead 6-5 in their final and only overcame a two-goal deficit in the final seconds. St Albans, Guildford and Canterbury qualified for the play-off finals at Crystal Palace on Friday week with a place in Europe awaiting the winners.

Nineteen-year-old Matt Daly was the hero of Surbiton's maximum points in Division One South, which sealed their Premier place for next season, netting 23 times in their eight games.

At Haslemere's Edge Centre, Slough marched on nearly as impressively with Jane Smith collecting her seventh successive hat-trick when she scored five times against Liverpool Quilter in Slough's 9-1 win. They completed their programme with a 10-1 win against Fyffes Leicester with Smith scoring six times to take her amazing tally to 29.

There was disappointment for Scotland in the B Division of the European Indoor Nations Cup in Zagreb when they were beaten 6-2 by Austria in the semi-finals to be denied promotion to the A Division, eventually having to settle for fourth place, losing 2-0 to Portugal.

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