HOCKEY; Oxford ensure league status

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The Independent Online
OXFORD UNIVERSITY warmed up for today's Varsity Match with a 3- 1 win against Isca. However, Saturday's game did little to grace the official opening of their water-based artificial pitch at Iffley Road - other than to almost certainly ensure their National League survival.

Cambridge, on the other hand, saw their chance of reaching the National League flickering away by drawing with Crostyx in the Premier Holidays East Premier.

Indeed, it could have been worse for the Light Blues but for an equalising goal from Roger Wilcock with the last touch of the match. The former Oxford Blue Adam Laird, on whom much of Cambridge's hopes will depend this afternoon in Milton Keynes, scored their opening goal.

In another eventful game in the South, leaders Wimbledon twice came from behind to beat City of Portsmouth, with the equalising and winning goals coming from Rob Stone and David Alford, both scoring within a minute.

Earlier Stuart Avery had scored both Portsmouth's goals. A few minutes into the second half, the umpire, after awarding a penalty stroke, changed the decision into a 16-yard hit, which might have been costly for Wimbledon. With their programme complete they must now hang on for a week to await the result of Fareham's rearranged fixture at High Wycombe on Saturday.

Only a win for Fareham, held to a 1-1 draw at Woking on Saturday, will be enough to give them the title and a place in the national play-offs. Without their leading goalscorer, Jim Mosely, who broke his nose last week, Fareham struggled after Tom Miller's opening goal in 24 seconds. Woking's equaliser came from a Mark Robinson penalty corner shot in the 52nd minute.

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