Hockey: Ealing's nationals struggle

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BALSAM LEICESTER, who took over the leadership of the Premier Division of the Women's National League last weekend, should stay top this weekend when they entertain Chelmsford, who have found scoring goals difficult this season and are struggling just one place off the bottom.

Slough, in second place, are likely to keep in touch after their visit to Ealing who, despite an array of international players, have had a torrid season so far with just one point.

'We have got to score goals, tighten up at the back and then release the ball quicker,' Sue Lawrie, Ealing's captain and Scottish international goalkeeper, said. 'I believe our fitness efforts are just beginning to show dividends. We desperately need three points from Slough and I believe we can do it.'

Hightown visit Ipswich, the champions, in what should be an intriguing contest. Ipswich, after dropping points against Slough last weekend, will be hoping to return to form but will find the northern side, who are finally running into form, tough opposition.

In the First Division, the leaders, Wimbledon, entertain second-placed Bracknell whose defence has so far kept them in contention for the one promotion place.