Hockey: Ipswich's title edge

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The Independent Online
IPSWICH, who are the current leaders, Hightown and Slough play their last games tomorrow in this season's women's National League, all with the possibility of being crowned champions and winning a place in the European Club championship next year, writes Bill Colwill.

With Ipswich and Slough, champions for the past three years, playing Wimbledon and Pickwick, both in the relegation zone, the odds might favour Hightown, one point behind Ipswich, who are at home to already relegated Doncaster. But with victory for all three teams probable, Ipswich, who missed the first year of the National League, look likely to be successful.

With two relegation places yet to be decided, and Exmouth, having already joined Doncaster without a win all season, it looks possible that Leicester Balsam and Chelmsford might just scramble clear, leaving Pickwick and Wimbledon to go down, unless one of them can unsettle Slough or Ipswich. Even so, to survive Chelmsford need to win at home to Ealing.

In the Second Division, with Trojans and Bradford Swithenbank assured of promotion, the battle is on for the other two places. Assuming Bracknell beat Yate, who have yet to win a point, for the third place, it then rests between Blueharts and Sherwood, who play at Hitchin where a draw will be enough to see the Hertfordshire club promoted.

The Army retained the Inter-Services Championship at Aldershot yesterday after a goalless draw with the RAF. In another stalemate the RAF beat the Army 3-1 on penalty strokes to take the women's title.

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