HOCKEY: Clifton break hoodoo

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The Independent Online
Ipswich, Clifton and Hightown all won yesterday and lead the Premier Division of the Women's National League with maximum points after two matches.

Lucy Culliford scored the decisive goal for Clifton in their 2-1 win at Slough with seven minutes remaining to leave the champions pointless. Ros Gollop had fired Clifton into an early lead before Lesley Hobley, Slough's captain, equalised from a second-half penalty corner. This was Clifton's first win over Slough in nine league matches.

Ipswich had to wait until the 48th minute for Jane Smith to open the scoring in their 2-1 victory at Doncaster. Debbie Rawlinson added the second from the penalty spot before Amanda Sowerby scored Doncaster's first Premier Division goal from a penalty corner with two minutes remaining.

Hightown who beat Balsam Leicester 2-1, trailed to a 39th-minute goal from Kim Gordon before Tina Cullen and Yana Williams scored in quick succession 15 minutes from the end.

In the First Division, Trojans followed their 6-0 hammering of Exmouth last week with a 3-0 win against Chelmsford, Kathryn James scoring twice after Monica Suter had given them a second-minute lead.

Canterbury are the only other side with maximum points, but they left it desperately late, Melanie Clewlow scoring the only goal from a last- minute penalty corner against Wimbledon. Olton are the only Second Division team with maximum points following their 2-1 win at St Albans. Mandy Gatherer and Jo Reddy put the visitors ahead with first-half goals before Yvonne Ayshford pulled one goal back with a 40th-minute penalty stroke.

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