SLOUGH women have qualified for England Hockey’s Super Sixes finals day,writes Dave Wright.

They finished third in the indoor league, only losing out on second place on goal difference and one point behind East Grinstead.

Having won three of their opening games before Christmas, the 2017 national champions went to the Telford venue for their final four games in a strong position.

The Pink and Blacks got off to a good start by beating Leicester 2-1, but had to work hard for the win.

They fell behind to a goal from Stephanie Hale in the 10th minute, Sarah Parkinson-Mills equalised four minutes later and it was not until the final minute when Dilly Newton snatched the winning goal from a penalty corner.

Their second defeat of the competition came against defending champions Bowdon Hightown, losing 4-3 despite taking an early two-goal lead through Laura Puddle and Newton.

The scores were level 2-2 at half-time, with Lizzie Totten making it 3-2, only for Bowdon to quickly reply through Tina Cullen, her second goal of the game.

Both sides pressed for the winner and it was Bowdon’s former England star Sally Walton who snatched victory four minutes from time, also her second goal.

This left Kali Takher’s team in fourth place, two points ahead of the fifth club, Holcombe.

The two met in Sunday’s morning match which saw them come from a goal down to secure a vital 3-2 victory with goals from Puddle and a Harriet Ward double, which included the winner six minutes from time.

The side, captained by Kat McGonigle, finished their fixtures with another victory by the odd goal in five, this time at the expense of Buckingham, their goals coming from Totten, Mel Ball and Ward.

This left Bowdon top of the final standings with 19 points, followed by East Grinstead on 18 (goal difference of plus 8), Slough 18 (plus 6) and Buckingham 15.

The top four will now meet in the semi-finals at the Copper Box Arena at Olympic Park on Sunday, January 27.

Bowdon take on Buckingham at 10.30am, followed by East Grinstead versus Slough at 11.45am with the final scheduled for 3.30pm.

The men’s competition will be played on the same day, with Hampstead & Westminster playing East Grinstead in the first semi-final and Surbiton and Sevenoaks in the other.

Slough men resume their Middx, Berks, Bucks & Oxon Premier Division Two programme at home to London Academicals this Saturday (2.30pm) hoping for a change of fortune. They are still looking for their first win of the season, having suffered 11 defeats in a row.