After beating East Grinstead, Conference east champs, 4-3 two weeks ago the 1XI played Wakefield, winners of Conference North, yesterday and came away with a 2-1 win. Details here:
Today Buckingham needed at least a draw against conference West champions, Slough, to secure top spot in the playoffs. In a very taught match the 1XI secured the necessary point with a 1-1 draw.
From here: http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/news.asp?itemid=32846&itemTitle=Buckingham+and+East+Grinstead+in+playoff+delight§ion=22
In the final round of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Play-Offs, it was the Buckingham and East Grinstead who came out on top and secured Premier Division Hockey for next season. East Grinstead, the East Conference Champions overcame Wakefield in a close game to ensure they finished in a promotion place, whilst Buckingham's draw with Slough was enough to maintain their top flight status for another year.
SLOUGH 1 (1)
Mel Ball 12 (F)
BUCKINGHAM 1 (0)
Beth Stainsby 59 (PS)
Both Buckingham and Slough began nervously, with a series of defensive mistakes showing the pressure that this match brought. Buckingham started making attacking chances, but were met with a well-organised and determined Slough defence - Kat McGonigle, Dilly Newton and Jess Ecott putting in commanding performances. Slough soon built confidence and took control of the half, and with ten minutes gone forced a mistake from Buckingham as a pass across the face of goal was latched onto by Mel Ball, who slid to deflect the ball into the back of the net. Slough continued to have the better of the possession and chances throughout the first half, including Mel Ball and Kelly Morgan coming close, but went into the break with a slender 1-0 lead.
The second period saw Amy Sheehan for Slough causing all sorts of problems to Buckingham, breaking down play in midfield and being at the centre of the Berkshire side’s attacks. But this was not a one-sided affair, Buckingham’s defence never looking anything but composed and controlled. In particular, Chloe Hobson and Zoe Shipperley put in some crucial tackles, the latter also finding her range with some fine passes. Buckingham’s composure paid off in the end, as Amie Hone won the Premier Division side a penalty flick. Beth Stainsby stepped up to take it, putting it wide of Amy Gibson in goal and bringing the scores to 1-1. And so it remained as the final whistle sounded, giving Buckingham the vital point they needed to retain their Premier Division status.