With National League and AEWHA Cup third-round games it looks a busy weekend for the women's leading clubs, who will still be without the services of their Great Britain players. But there will be plenty of time to recover, as from Monday the outdoor season goes into hibernation until the middle of February.
Slough, the defending champions, entertain the current leaders and cup holders, Hightown, tomorrow in one of the day's top two league clashes. Slough desperately need a win to stay in contention and will be out to avenge the 2-0 defeat Hightown inflicted on them when the teams met at Formby at the beginning of the season.
The Slough coach, Ian Jennings, expressed his disappointment that he is not allowed to call on Mandy Nicholls and Anna Bennett, just back from Cape Town where Britain qualified for the Olympics in Atlanta.
Jennings said: "I just can't see the point of not allowing the players to play, if they want to, for this one weekend when they then have seven weeks off. A little relaxed hockey back with their clubs could do them good."
A single goal could well decide the match. With Hightown entertaining Southampton in the cup on Sunday and Slough travelling to Nottingham to play Sherwood, both teams should move forward into Monday's draw for the fourth round.
Sutton Canada Life, in second place in the league, should keep up the pressure with a win at Balsam Leicester but may struggle on Sunday at Ipswich in the cup in the only clash of Premier League clubs.