Hockey: Elite set for first play-offs

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The Independent Online
SLOUGH AND Cannock, who both won their leagues with points to spare, compete for the formal title of champions at the inaugural Premier League play-offs at Reading HC this weekend. But the more important prize is a place in Europe next year, writes Bill Colwill.

With the object of the playoffs to provide a pressurised testing ground for elite players, the weekend's cost will be met largely from Lottery funding and a feast of high-class hockey is expected.

Today's programme starts with the teams having finished third and fourth in the leagues - High Town take on Clifton Scottish Life and, for the men, Reading are up against Canterbury. That is followed by the first and second teams, Slough against Ipswich and Cannock against Southgate.

Tomorrow will see the winners of the third/fourth games playing the losers of the first/second games, with the play-off finals being held at Milton Keynes on Monday 3 May.