Hockey: Berkshire can halt holders

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Lancashire will be looking for their fourth succesive win in the women's County Championship at Milton Keynes this weekend, writes Bill Colwill.

Having dominated the scene by winning 12 of the 24 finals since the championship was first introduced, Lancashire are again based on the successful Hightown squad.

In today's pool games they face Staffordshire and high-scoring Berkshire, who include Kate Parker and Denise Shorney, the former Slough internationals who join Reading next season as player-coaches.

Berkshire look capable of denying Lancashire a 13th title. In what appears to be the weaker pool, Kent should make tomorrow's final if Sarah Bamfield, their captain, can mould together players from eight different clubs.

Meanwhile, there will be an added incentive for players in the men's under-21 divisional tournament at Old Loughtonians today and tomorrow. David Whitaker, England's coach, and Alan Walker, the Under-21 manager, will have a final look at the field before announcing their squad for the World Junior Cup in Terrassa, Spain, at the end of the summer.