Hockey: Nicholls on target

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MANDY NICHOLLS followed up her two goals for Slough in her first game with a 47th-minute winner in the

1-0 win at Hightown to keep them at the top of the Women's National League Premier Division, writes Bill Colwill.

Two goals from another England striker, Jane Smith, set her new club Ipswich, on the way to a 3-1 home win against promoted Bracknell to keep them level on points with the leaders, Slough. Kirsten Spencer scored Ipswich's third at a penalty corner. Pauline Baxter replied for Bracknell.

Leicester, last season's champions, scraped home 2-1 against Sutton Coldfield at Cannock with goals from Nicky Wright and Justine Williams. Sutton's goal came from Lisa Bayliss. Lucy Culliford and the Welsh international Yana Williams notched Clifton's goals in their 2-0 win against Chelmsford in the day's other Premier game.

In the First Division, Claire Ferguson struck in the 42nd minute to give Doncaster a 1-0 win against Trojans to maintain their 100 per cent record. Relegated Ealing lost their way after their captain, Sarah Lawfull, had given them the boost of an early lead, losing 2-1 at Blueharts.