by Alex Hoad
Mel Clewlow says Canterbury Hockey Club have a point to prove when they travel to Reading on Saturday for the Investec Women’s League finals weekend.
The city club suffered a 2-1 defeat at Surbiton on March 23 when a win would have secured the National Premier Division title and a place in Europe next season.
Canterbury finished second in the table, two points behind Leicester, and will play third-placed Reading in the play-off semi-final at 5.30pm knowing that if they win and Leicester beat Surbiton in the other semi, then Canterbury will secure a place in Europe next season.
Clewlow (pictured) said: "We have done a lot of chatting among the squad about the game but actions speak louder than words.
"We have had three weeks to prepare for this one game and it’s not often you get the chance to do that. By the time we play, we’ll know the result of Leicester’s game against Surbiton and we’ll know whether a win would be enough to get us into Europe.
"If we were to win, it would be an upset. We are not expected to win, there is no pressure on us."
The former GB Olympian said: "Of course we would love to win the whole thing and go into Europe ranked No.1 in the country but our focus has to be on just trying to get past Reading.
"If we are able to do that and we were to play Surbiton, then I’m sure we have enough footage and memory of playing them recently to be able to give them a game, not to mention the motivation."
The fitness of Dilly Newton will be assessed but South African international Jade Mayne returns and her compatriot Jen Wilson will be on the bench after a seven-month lay-off through injury.
The third/fourth play-off match is at 2.45pm on Sunday with the final at 5.15pm.