Crucial clashes in students’ title bid

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DURHAM University firsts’ promotion challenge comes to the crunch with a double header this weekend.

The students are three points behind leaders Beeston in the Investec Women’s League’s Conference North, but have a game in hand in the chase for the one promotion play-off slot.

Durham have a massively inferior goal difference, so Steph Hawkins’ side will look to make inroads on that if possible.

Last week, Philippa Lewis pounced for the only goal from a penalty corner two minutes before half-time to sink Brooklands Poynton.

Now Durham host Wakefield Bradford at Maiden Castle on Saturday (noon) before having their game in hand at Whitley Bay and Tynemouth on Sunday (11.30am). Durham will be keen to avenge their costly defeat to Tynemouth earlier this season.

H Sunderland Broom have their penultimate home match in the North League’s Division Two North East at Sandhill View this Saturday, with second-top Durham University thirds the visitors (12.15pm).

Broom secured a fine 5-0 win at Morpeth seconds last week, their long-awaited first success of 2013.