Students face Havant as Conference returns
UNIVERSITY of Exeter welcome Havant on Sunday following a two-week break from Men's Conference West action.
Exeter won 3-1 last time out at Whitchurch to soar up to second place in the Conference table thanks to two goals from South African Olympian Ian Haley and an own goal.
Sunday's game at the University Sports Park starts at 12.30pm with sixth-placed Havant seeking to build on an up-turn in form.
They are currently on a four-match unbeaten sequence, which includes an eye-catching 2-0 win at leaders Cardiff & UWIC.
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Slow starters Havant lost their opening three league matches but beat basement side Firebrands, of Bristol, 3-0 last time out.
Exeter have not looked back since a surprise 3-1 opening day defeat at home to University of Birmingham, who head into the weekend in seventh place, six points behind in-form Exeter.
Second-placed Isca University also return from a two-week National League break this weekend when they visit Barnes Hounslow Ealing on Saturday (midday).
Isca proved too strong for basement side Staines two weeks ago, beating the visitors 4-2 with goals from Women's Conference West top scorer Claire Thomas (2), Zoe Burrell and Tam Pascoe.
Thomas tops the division's scoring charts with nine goals and will be looking to add to her impressive tally at seventh-placed BHE as Isca bid to close the gap on runaway leaders Buckingham, who host third-placed Trojans on Saturday.
Buckingham have won all seven of their fixtures and are five points clear of Isca.
Exe – relegated from the Women's Conference West at the end of last season – seem determined to win their place back following a six-wins-from-six start in WCWHL Premier One.
Exe, who host second-placed Clifton seconds on Saturday, warmed up for their top-of-the-table clash with a 3-0 win at last season's runners-up Bournemouth, thanks to goals from Clare Whitworth and skipper Kirsty Crocker.
Saturday's match takes place at St Peter's School at 11am.
There is also a top-of-the-table match on Saturday in the men's regional Davis Wood Hockey League, as runaway leaders Isca host second-placed Robinsons, of Bristol, at the University of Exeter Sports Park (2pm).