Buckingham win the title after 39-game unbeaten run

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Buckingham Ladies Hockey Club 1st XI secured the Investec Women’s Conference West league title on Saturday when they beat Gloucester 3-0.

Buckingham, who are now unbeaten in 39 league games having not lost since February 6 2011, sit 15 points clear at the top with four games to go.

Looking for their 14th straight win of the season, Buckingham hosted second-placed Gloucester knowing a point was enough and they started the brighter of the two teams.

Lorraine Campbell came close in the opening minutes before the home took the lead when Sam Sandham put them ahead thanks to a deft deflection from Buckingham’s first penalty corner.

Although a superb opening went begging just a minute later, the home side remained firmly in the ascendency and produced some outstanding passing hockey.

But, despite dominating both territory and possession, they had to wait until the final minute of the half to extend their lead.

This time it was player of the match Zoe Shipperley who rifled home another trademark strike.

Buckingham began the second period with the same quality as the first, moving the ball with pace and controlling the game, though Gloucester always remained a threat on the break.

Eventually the third goal came and the win was sealed when a passing move involving Jess Bloom and Sandham saw Leanne Grimsley score at the far post.

Shortly afterwards, the temporary suspension of Charlie Bracken saw the home side under a little bit of pressure for the first time in the match, but outcome was never in doubt and the hosts maintained their composure to see out the five-minute suspension period.

It had been another assured performance to maintain their perfect 14-0 record and clinch their third league title in a row.

This Saturday, Buckingham make the long trip to Swansea where they will try to maintain their record in what will be one of the toughest matches of the season having won the corresponding fixture 1-0.