There will be fierce competition for the other positions, with the 2018 champions, Otter, needing a big improvement after winning only one of their four matches so far. The latest setback was a 13-4 defeat by Liverpool Lizards, who were always in charge after building a 6-1 lead in the opening period. Molly Boniface-Ashton topped the scoring for Lizards with four.
Manchester defeated Hucknall 13-4 after being made to work hard by the Midlands side in the first half, when Manchester led only 4-3. Izzy Howe netted four for the champions.
Caledonia recovered from 6-3 down to beat Birmingham 9-7, with Nicola Tate scoring five. Sheffield Sharks and Coventry were all square at 6-6 after three periods; then goals by Bernice Cowton (2), Nicole Reynolds and Ameila Peters swept Sharks to a 10-6 victory.
Photo (Trevor Hyde): Katie Bowater, of Liverpool, attempts to block a shot by Otter's Peggy Etiebet at Haberdashers today.