Hockey: Students succeed and fail

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The Independent Online

Loughborough students sampled the joys of success and the despair of failure at the end of yesterday's final games in the short Indoor National League season. The men won their Premier Division competition at Kidderminster to become the first student side to take a national title when they finished ahead of Old Loughtonians, Guildford and Canterbury while the women, who finished pointless at Haslemere, were relegated to Division One for next season.

In spite of a hiccup in their last game on Saturday evening when the men went down 4-9 to Canterbury, Students, who during the weekend built their game on the play of their Scottish defenders David Ralph and James McBlane and an ever-changing attack, were well worthy of their champions' title. The top four teams go through to finals night at Crystal Palace on Friday, 1 February with European competition the prize for the winners.

In the women's competition Slough were awesome in winning with a 100 per cent record although in their last game against the defending League champions Chelmsford they were forced to play without leading goal scorer Jane Smith and Ali Bird, who went to hospital following injuries in their game against Fyffes Leicester. Although held to 3-3 at the interval by the Essex side Slough streaked ahead after the interval to run out 13-3 winners.

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