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Hockey: Canterbury and Slough battle for final play-off spot

WITH THE first three of the four play-off places for the Women's Premiership League title almost certainly booked by Hightown, Ipswich and Fyffes Leicester, tomorrow's game at High Wycombe between fourth placed Canterbury and Slough, a point behind in sixth, is crucial for both.

Slough, the defending champions, have been up and down so far this season with their coach, John Shaw, having to manage at training without five of his squad, those in the Great Britian Olympic training set up. Shaw also feels that these players have been desperately tired, which has not helped.

Canterbury's attack is likely to be led by Anna Bennett who until the summer was with Slough and moved for more "social" hockey. No special plans are being made to contain the speedy striker.

"Canterbury have several dangerous players and our plans are made to stop the opposition, not any particular player," said Slough's captain, Julia Robertson. She expects to be at full strength except for the long- term injured.

The high-flying Loughborough Students, six points clear at the top of the First Division, visit Woking for what could be their first defeat of the season. Mid-table Woking have played most of their games without their coach, Ian Jennings, on the sideline and have had several disappointing results including a 5-1 defeat at Loughborough early in the season. With Jennings available tomorrow Woking will be looking for sweet revenge.

Ireland have named a 21-strong squad, including Sutton Coldfield's Laura Brown, for a training camp in Barcelona at the beginning of January, which will include one full international against Great Britain.

IRISH SQUAD: T Browne, C Carey, M Logue (capt), J Burke, D Sixsmith, C McMahon, K Mills, K Humphreys, P Magill, A Thompson, R Kohler, K O'Brien, C McKean, C O'Kelly, L McVicker, A Platt, J Orbinson, L Brown, L Caulfield, J Osborne, S Parkhill.