Hockey: Smith and Fry put Ipswich on top: Cullen's hat-trick is in vain

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IPSWICH moved two points clear at the top of the women's National League when they beat Clifton 5-1, Jane Smith and Tracy Fry scoring twice, writes Peter Colwill.

Slough dropped their first point in a goalless draw at Balsam Leicester, who remain third just a point ahead of Hightown who, despite a hat-trick by Tina Cullen, could only draw with First Personnel Sutton Coldfield.

In a depleted men's National League programme, Indian Gymkhana took fifth position in the First Division by beating Slough 3-1 with second-half goals from Harbinder Bahar, Dharminder Singh and Charanjit Bhaura after Simon Cox had put Slough in front. Slough, who narrowly escaped relegation last year, are now have only a point from six matches.

East Grinstead, who chose to play at Bournville even though their goalkeeper, David Luckes, was with England, were rewarded with a 3-1 victory and sixth place.

On the opening day of the Second Division programme, there were mixed results for the three new sides. Crostyx went down 2-0 at Bromley, while Whitchurch drew 0-0 at home to Edgbaston.

Three goals in a 12-minute spell late in the second half gave Hampstead and Westminster, the other newcomers, a 3-1 win at the expense of Harleston Magpies. Hampstead's goals came from Dave Dixon, Andy Thompson, both once of Hounslow, and Dan Williams after Phil Cobbald had put Harleston ahead from the penalty spot.

Andy Halliday, who scored twice in St Albans 3-0 victory over Oxford University, scored the quickest goal of the day in 34 seconds.