Potter sets pace

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Sarah Potter, the former England cricketer and daughter of the playwright Dennis, opened the scoring in the fifth minute to send Colwall on their way to a 3-2 victory over Tulse Hill in the opening game of the women's Inter-League Play-offs at Milton Keynes yesterday.

With the 16-year-old Isabel Palmer dominant in defence, Colwall always had the edge, sending in Jane Hudson and Jackie Styles in to complete the scoring. Tulse Hill's response came from Sheena Bailey, their captain, and the corner specialist, Alex Stephenson.

The restructured men's County Championship, hockey's oldest domestic competition dating back to the first winners, Lincolnshire, in 1958, gets under way today at eight venues. The competition is split for the first time into A and B Divisions, with the winners of the eight groups playing off at Milton Keynes over the weekend of 3 to 4 May.

Surrey, the defending champions, host one of the A Division groups at Surbiton where their strongest opposition is likely to come from Somerset. Surbiton's surprise advance last weekend to the Association Cup semi-finals has been a blessing for Surrey, who have now centred their side virtually on the Surbiton squad, with a couple from Richmond.