Hockey: Championship first for Reading

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The Independent Online
READING took the first PizzaExpress National League title when they won 2-1 away to Cheltenham to finish Second Division champions. Their captain, Paddy Osborn, secured the win with two second-half penalty corner goals after Andrew Wilshaw had given Cheltenham the lead from a penalty stroke in the 16th minute.

Indian Gymkhana, scoring twice when Richmond were reduced to nine men after the temporary suspension of Steve Batchelor and Tony Diamond, beat the Surrey side 5-2 to stay ahead of Guildford, 2-1 winners against Isca, on goal difference in second place. Batchelor, sent off just before the interval, left the ground early in the second half, before the point when he could have continued, and did not reappear.

Hounslow, with goals from Nick Gordon and David Hacker, in a 2-0 win against Bromley, increased their lead at the top of First Division to five points. Second-placed Southgate, Hounslow's sole challengers, could only manage a draw against Teddington. Phillip McGuire equalised from the penalty spot after James Duthie had given Southgate an early lead.

At the bottom of the First Division, Surbiton, after one year in elite company, were relegated after a 5-0 loss at Havant. Matthew Cross scored three times with Colin Cooper and David Faulkner adding late goals. Havant move into third place. Neston, losing 2-1 to Welton, are also relegated.

Tina Cullen kept up her scoring record with three goals against Glasgow Western to give Hightown a 4-2 win in their last match in the European Indoor Club Championship in Berlin to take the bronze medal. St Albans lost 9-5 to Wiener to finish fourth.

Although both defending champions were beaten, Germany retained their grip on the championship with Berliner beating Russelsheimer 6-3 in the women's final and Rot Weiss Cologne winning 4-3 against Limberger.

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