Hockey: Poynton scramble in

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The Independent Online
Poynton and Aldridge claimed the two National League places at stake at the end of the three-day women's Inter-League Championship at Milton Keynes, which ended yesterday with Aldridge beating Tulse Hill 2-0 in the final game.

Aldridge, playing their second game of the day, left it until the 63rd minute before Jane Hampshire gave them the lead at a penalty corner. Five minutes later Hampshire claimed her second goal to secure the game.

Earlier Poynton had scrambled a 3-2 win over Bury St Edmunds when Carolyne Daniels scored the winning goal at a penalty corner with just 20 seconds remaining in a game which had seen each side dispute a goal. Poynton then had to await the outcome of the last game, delayed while the local fire brigade were called to water the pitch following the inability of the stadium's system to cope.

Colwall's hopes of regaining their National League place were effectively dashed on Saturday when, early in their game against Poynton, which they lost 3-4, their 16-year-old central defender Isabel Palmer sustained an ankle injury. Although she bravely hobbled on yesterday after they had gone 2-0 behind against Aldridge and stabilised a tottering defence, the West country side were unable to get back into the game, finally losing 2-1.

Surrey took a major step towards retaining their men's County Championship title when they won their four preliminary round games at Surbiton yesterday. They went into their last game against Somerset knowing that they had to lose by more than 28 goals to fail to qualify for the finals. Earlier, in their 8-1 win over Hampshire, Danny Hall, the former Guildford striker, scored five times.

Lancashire, last year's beaten finalists, move through to the semi-finals after beating Middlesex 6-2 in their final game at Crosby.

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