Hockey: Kelleher returns for Slough title decider

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The Independent Online
Slough will be going for their fifth championship when they travel to Formby tomorrow to play Hightown, the defending champions, in their final Premier National League game of the season.

Sarah Kelleher, the Irish international, returns to the squad, having elected to miss a national training weekend, but Slough will be without Helen Thornalley, who will be running in Sunday's London Marathon.

Hightown have injury doubts about Fiona Lee and they will be without long-term casualties Debbie Mills and Helen Grant. The good news for the northern club is that Caroline Gilbert is fit again, although unlikely to be in the starting line-up, and Lucy Newcombe has got leave from the RAF.

Maggie Souyave, the Hightown player coach, fears that her young team will relax after escaping relegation. "It has not been an easy time recently with some indifferent performances," she said, "but we don't intend to hand the title on a plate to Slough."

Should Slough slip up, a win for Ipswich, who knocked Slough out of the cup last Sunday, would give the Suffolk club their second title. Ipswich - two points behind - are away to Trojans at Southampton.

There is an intriguing situation at the bottom for the one relegation spot. Leicester, equal on points with Trojans, entertain Doncaster, just one point above them. Leicester's crop of talented youngsters lack an experienced player to steady their nerves when the pressure mounts, but they should be capable of the draw which would see them to safety.

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