Buckingham do the double over Oxford

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Buckingham LHC continued their winning start to the season with a league and cup double over Oxford Hawks at the weekend.

On Saturday, at the unusual time of 5pm, Conference West leaders Buckingham opened up a three point lead at the top of the table with a 4-1 victory.

A fine passing move inside the first five minutes resulted in their first penalty corner, from which captain Zoe Shipperley duly converted, smashing the ball into the bottom corner for a 1-0 lead.

Moments later Buckingham wasted a second penalty corner in a first half of few chances for either side, with the visitors holding onto their slender lead until the break.

The second half began poorly for Buckingham, though, and Oxford capitalised on some sloppy defending to draw level within two minutes.

Buckingham then weathered a period of pressure but defended well, allowing the home side very few opportunities, with player of the match Aly Billington impressing.

A slight reshuffle in midfield with ten minutes remaining seemed to spark Buckingham into life and the visitors took advantage of a tiring Hawks side to rattle in three quick goals.

First, a composed finish from Billington put Buckingham in front before Shipperley unleashed an unstoppable penalty corner to double the lead, and it was Shipperley again who made sure of the points as she completed her hat-trick to seal a 4-1 victory.

On Sunday, the two sides met again, this time in the Investec Cup. In another tight encounter, it was Buckingham who again made the brighter start as they wasted several early chances before taking a deserved lead when Sam Sandham coolly finished past the onrushing goalkeeper.

Hawks enjoyed plenty of possession but Buckingham always looked the more likelier to score and it came as no surprise when Jo Ellis made it 2-0. Oxford got one back but Buckingham held onto the victory to progress through to the next round where they will play Conference North side Boots in Nottingham on October 20.