Reading go top as Hightown suffer first defeat of season
DEFENDING champions Bowdon Hightown suffered their first defeat of the season despite a spirited comeback against Slough at South Downs Road.
Slough captain Fiona Greenham put her team ahead as early as the second minute with a penalty corner and gave the Berkshire side the advantage again early in the second half after Tina Cullen's 19th minute equaliser.
The away team seemed to have the game sewn up after Ashleigh Ball and Jane Smith goals gave Slough a 4-1 advantage with 15 minutes remaining.
But Sally Walton gave the Hightown fans hope with ten minutes remaining and Tina Cullen's fifth goal of the season in the 68th minute ensured a frantic finale.
But the Slough defence held strong and Greenham insisted her team hadn't gone into the game as underdogs against their Cheshire opponents who lost just one domestic match last season.
"We knew if we played as well as we can we'd have a great chance and we're delighted to come away with the points today," said Greenham.
"It certainly helped that they're not as strong as they were last season but it was always going to be a tough game.
"But it was an important result for us today - we played really well last weekend against Reading and were disappointed to come out of it with nothing.
"So it's a big boost for us and we'll go into next weekend's game with Clifton with a lot of confidence."
Canterbury bounced back in style from last weekend's defeat to Leicester with a 10-1 victory over Trojans at Polo Farm.
Natalie Seymour was the pick of the Canterbury scorers, helping herself to a hat-trick, with Mel Clewlow, Susie Rowe and Cathy Gilliat-Smith scoring twice each and Jenny Hall bagging the home side's other.
Pre-season favourites Reading raced to the top of the table with a 4-2 victory over University of Birmingham.
New signing Alex Danson set Reading on their way in the 18th minute before Vicky Bryant made it 2-0 at half time.
But the West Midlands outfit bravely fought their way back into the match and after Tina Evans had pulled one back with a penalty corner in the 42nd minute, Sophie Bray drew the University of Birmingham level two minutes later.
But Reading pushed on again and after Marianne Downer edged them ahead with a 54th minute penalty corner, Vicky Bryant notched her fourth goal of the season to seal the win.
Elsewhere, Leicester and Olton & West Warwicks continued their perfect starts to the season with impressive away victories.
Goals from Hannah Macleod, Katie Long and Jennie Bimson cancelled out Phillippa Jones early strike to give Leicester a 3-1 win against Brooklands Poynton while Fiona Davies and Lisa Hunter gave Olton & West Warwicks a 2-0 win at Clifton.