Hockey: Jennings' loss leaves Guildford foundering

THE ABSENCE of the player-coach, Ian Jennings, on Army duties in Cyprus, may have cost Guildford their hopes of reaching the National Premier play-offs. Apparently rudderless, they conceded 15 goals over two games.

In a weekend of high-scoring hockey, the leadership changed twice. Canterbury now lead the way following a slick 4-1 win against Reading. They are a point ahead of Southgate, who went down 2-0 at Cannock, with Bobby Crutchley scoring twice.

In the women's Premier, Ipswich moved six points ahead of Slough. Vicky Sandall scored both goals in their defeat of the defending champions, although the Berkshire club do have a game in hand.

In the Regional Leagues, the weekend's top spot goes to Cambridge University, three points clear of Peterborough Town with a game in hand in the East Premier. They trounced Bedford Town 11-1, with the former Oxford student Adam Laird scoring six, taking his season's total to 19 in seven games. Alastair Cotton and Thierry Gruslin claimed a brace each and Garth Weir completed the humiliation.

Two first-half goals from Fareham's Tom Miller maintained their 100 per cent record at the top of the South Premier, six points ahead of Beckenham, who have a game in hand. Richmond were reduced to nine men as Fareham took the lead and, in all, suffered four temporary suspensions.

Beckenham, with goals from Neville Wharton and Mike Dodds, won 2-0 at Gore Court but they have to entertain Fareham on Saturday.

Wimbledon drew 3-3 at Chichester and were joined in joint third place by Maidenhead, who beat High Wycombe 2-1 in the Berkshire derby.

Paul Arnott scored both Maidenhead's goals while for the first time this season their Pakistan Under-21 international, Shoaib Raja, failed to get his name on the score sheet, thanks to close attention from Jeremy Clarke. Tim Prior claimed Wycombe's goal.