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Hockey: Title target for Midlands

The Midlands appear poised to win the Women's Under-21 Territorial Tournament title as they overcame the defending champions, East, at the Milton Keynes National Stadium 3-1 yesterday.

Liz Aldus provided East with a fine start to the second day of the championship, finding the net in the 11th minute. Midlands, however, soon claimed an equaliser as a quickly taken free hit from outside the circle was deflected on by Louisa Turney for Lesley Irvine to score at close range.

Midlands then won a series of penalty corners. But it was not until the 25th minute, at their sixth set-piece, that Sally Wright gave them the lead.

After the restart, Lucy Hayman was judged to have brought down Kate Sharland. The goalkeeper made amends, however, saving the penalty stroke from Nicola Hickton. Midland's third goal came midway through the half when Natalie Hannah scored at another well-worked penalty corner.

In their second game of the day, the Midlands again beat the pointless and luckless South 3-0, but it was not until the 49th minute that they eventually overcame a resolute South defence in which the Clifton goalkeeper, Liz Storey, and Ealing's Jennifer Cornelius were outstanding. Wright, with two penalty corner strikes in three minutes, killed off South's resistance and a third goal came from Natalie Hannah.

South had earlier gone down 2-0 to the West, who went on to lose 1-0 to the North.

- Bill Colwill