SECOND-PLACED Isca University face a Conference West top-of-the-table clash in the Investec Women's Hockey League on Saturday when they host runaway leaders Buckingham at the University of Exeter Sports Park (12.30pm).
At the halfway stage of the season Buckingham – last season's Conference champions – have won all nine of their opening matches and are eight points clear of Isca, who have drawn once and lost twice.
The first of those defeats was 2-0 at Buckingham on September 22. The second was at home to Swansea Spartans on Sunday, when the visitors won 3-1.
Natalie Blyth, Katrin Budd and Alexandra Naughalty scored for Spartans, who led 2-0 before Carla Dunnett replied for the hosts in the 15th minute.
Player-of-the-match Jenna Wiles nearly levelled for the home side as they pushed forward in the second half before a counter-attack enabled Naughalty to score Swansea's late clincher.
University of Exeter host basement side Firebrands next Sunday seeking to bounce back from a 2-1 top-of-the-table Men's Hockey League Conference West defeat at joint leaders Cardiff & UWIC.
Edwards Matts fired fourth-placed Exeter ahead after 23 minutes at Cardiff before the home side rallied in the second half with goals from Robin Lovegrove and Mark Whatling.
In a tightly-packed top frame, Exeter slipped from first to fourth as new leaders Guildford won 3-1 at University of Birmingham.
The Greens – who have only been beaten twice – will seek to get back on track on Sunday against Firebrands, who lost 4-2 at Cheltenham.