SLOUGH have put themselves in with a great chance of reaching the semi-finals of England Hockey's indoor championships, writes Dave Wright.

They won three of their four opening matches last weekend and will be looking for a repeat performance in their remaining four fixtures next month.

The Pink and Blacks made a dream start at the Phoenix Leisure Centre in Telford on Saturday by beating Beeston 4-2 after Harriet Ward and Laura Puddle had both scored in the opening three minutes.

Kathryn Lane immediately pulled a goal back, but guest player Sarah Parkinson-Mills restored Slough's two-goal advantage in the 11th minute.

Dilly Newton added a fourth goal in the second half, before Rosy Stephens netted Beeston's second goal two minutes from time.

Slough were then involved in an eight-goal thriller with Canterbury, winning 5-3.

Mel Ball and Parkinson-Mills, who plays outdoor hockey for Stourport, put their side two-up inside the opening seven minutes, only for Canterbury to score twice in as many minutes to bring the scores level.

Ball restored her side's lead with a penalty-corner goal just before half-time, but the Kent team made it 3-3 six minutes into the second half.

The score stayed that way until the last minute when Newton and Parkinson-Mills netted in quick succession to seal a 5-3 victory.

Slough's first fixture on Sunday was against another unbeaten side, East Grinstead, but they emerged triumphant by a 4-2 margin.

They led 2-1 at half-time thanks to Ball and Parkinson-Mills, with Harriet Ward and Newton adding to the tally.

Team manager Bill Griffiths described is as "one of the best indoor performances in recent years."

The team were unable to repeat it in their fourth game of the weekend, losing 4-2 to Clifton Robinsons despite taking a 2-1 lead through Laura Puddle and Ball.

Captain Kat McGonigle admitted: "It would've been good to beat Clifton, but it was still a great weekend on the whole."

Slough are joined on nine points by East Grinstead and Buckingham, two points ahead of Bowdon Hightown and Holcombe.

Their remaining fixtures are against Leicester, Bowdon, Holcombe and Buckingham on the weekend of January 5-6.

McGonigle added: "We want to win all four games and reach finals day but, looking at the remaining fixtures, we could even get there with two wins."