SLOUGH have made a mixed start to their defence of England Hockey’s indoor league title with two wins and two defeats on the opening weekend.

With all matches taking place at the Phoenix Sports Centre in Telford, Slough got off to a flier by hammering Berkshire rivals Reading 6-2 in their opening match on Saturday.

Charly Brydon and Georgina Bathurst, playing against her former club, both found the net in the opening 10 minutes and Mel Ball added a third before half-time with Reading pulling one goal back.

Brydon netted again early in the second half with Heather Batten and Ball completing the scoring.

In their second game on Saturday, the Pink and Blacks lost 3-2 to East Grinstead with all five goals coming in the second half.

Batten and Whittaker were also on target against a side boosted by Olympic gold medallists Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh.

The defending champions suffered another reverse in their first game on Sunday, losing 2-1 to Holcombe.

The two goals conceded both came in the opening 15 minutes with Brydon halving her side’s deficit five minutes into the second half.

Slough were now under pressure to beat Clifton Robinsons in their second game of the day, and they succeeded by a 3-1 margin.

Bathurst, who was the league’s leading scorer last season when playing for Reading, netted in each half and Brydon added a third before their Bristol opponents replied just before the final whistle.

The Upton Court Park girls are left with six points, the same as Canterbury and Holcombe, with the table led by unbeaten East Grinstead, followed by Bowdon on 10 points and Leicester with eight.

The second half of the league takes place at the same venue on January 6-7 when Slough will be playing Sutton Coldfield and Leicester on Saturday, followed by Canterbury, last season’s beaten finalists, and Bowdon on Sunday.

Slough men’s league match against Milton Keynes 2s, which was called off on December 9 due to a frozen pitch at Upton Court, has been re-arranged for Saturday, January 6 (10.30am pushback).

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