A potential slip-up game was taken well within the W1s stride as they dispatched Doncaster 4-1.
Having beaten Loughborough 3-2 the week before, the W1s knew that Doncaster away was going to be a very tricky game. With multiple missed chances in the first half, and a leaked goal just seconds before the half time whistle, the W1s entered half-time, and a highly disgruntled team talk, with just a 2-1 lead.
However, with swift movement of the ball around the back and some good short corners in the second half, Durham controlled the game from the first whistle, and took the 3 points with a 4-1 win. A hat-trick from Louisa Boddy and a well-taken open play goal from Steph Elliot were enough to give Durham a comfortable win with two games remaining.
The win for Durham, and a draw for Beeston on the same day, takes the W1s to joint top of the national league. With both Durham and Beeston on 37 points, having won 11 games, drawn four and lost just one, it is all to play for in the remaining two games.
Of the weekend's results, the England Hockey round-up had the following to say....
"Beeston’s title challenge was pegged back by Loughborough Students in Investec Conference North. The two point advantage they held over Durham University was wiped out as Beeston were held to a 1-1 by third placed Loughborough. Beeston were forced to work hard for their point with Jo Hunter equalising for the away side in the 40th minute after Laura Unsworth had put Loughborough into a first half lead.
Durham University took advantage of the dropped points thanks to Louisa Boddy’s hat-trick which helped her side to a 4-1 victory over Doncaster.
Beeston remains at the summit of the Conference but by a superior goal difference alone.
Durham, though thankful to Loughborough Students for the weekend’s result, hosts their University rivals next weekend and must be wary of the challenge from a side that upset them 3-1 in November (their single defeat all year). Loughborough, of course, have an outside chance of a title challenge but both Durham University and Beeston play Northampton Saints before the season finishes."