Havant find the going tough

Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland

Developing talents can boost City glory bid

Havant have it all to do if they are to make an impression in this season's National Indoor Hockey Championships.

The Havant College side returned home from the opening weekend of the division one competition in Birmingham with only one win from their first four matches.

That solitary victory came against Stourport, with Havant running out convincing 10-5 winners.

But it was sandwiched between a 4-4 draw against Team Bath in their opening game and two consecutive defeats against Sevenoaks (8-2) and current leaders Harleston Magpies (2-0) respectively.

That leaves seventh-placed Havant on four points going into the second weekend of matches this Saturday and Sunday.

And with only the top two teams gaining promotion to the premier division, they'll certainly have their work cut out.

The threat of being relegated to the second division is also something Havant have to be wary of.

Only bottom-placed Team Bath and Bournville currently lie beneath them in the table, meaning they'll have to hit the ground running when they return to Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre this weekend.

Their first opponents on Saturday will be sixth-placed Barford Tigers (2.30pm), followed by Bournville (6.30pm).

On Sunday, Havant face second-placed Brooklands (1pm) before wrapping up their campaign against mid-table Doncaster.

'The competition will be tough, but we have a blend of youth and experience,' said Havant manager Peter Hatherley.

United Services Portsmouth suffered a 9-4 defeat at the hands of Salisbury seconds in Hampshire League division three.

Skipper Simon Morford scored a hat-trick in the defeat at the South Wilts Ground, with Avery scoring the fourth goal.

In the Wessex Masters division two, United Services and Havant Vets seconds shared the spoils in a 3-3 draw.

Portsmouth & Southsea men's firsts defeated Winchester thirds 3-0, meanwhile the P&S Veterans suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Oxford.

Marc Mills was the vets' scorer on the day.