Vitality Women’s Hockey League Premier Division Review – 19/20 March 2022
Swansea made history on Saturday at Loughborough Students when they won their first ever Vitality Women’s Hockey League Premier Division match after going winless in their first eighteen games over the last two seasons. Abigail Romig’s 25th minute opener and a second from Betsan Thomas four minutes after half time gave Swansea a 2-0 lead and although Jen Park caused a few anxious moments with the third open play goal of the game on the hour mark, the Welsh club were not to be denied their moment of glory.
Swansea battled again on Sunday, but lost narrowly at the University of Birmingham, Millie Giglio’s penalty corner right on half time enough to move Birmingham back up to seventh, two points ahead of eighth placed Buckingham with a game in hand. With Birmingham originally scheduled for a bye week before the Swansea rearranged fixture, Buckingham had briefly overtaken Birmingham into seventh after their 2-1 home win over Holcombe on Saturday. Tania Escaich put Holcombe ahead in the 11th minute, but Buckingham made a second half comeback, Maddie Newlyn equalising in the 39th and Olivia Strickland earning the win in the 53rd minute in another three open play goal match.
In the Top Six, Surbiton are on the cusp of their eighth successive title after they beat Clifton Robinsons 3-0 at Sugden Road on Saturday. Darcy Bourne followed up her run of three successive hat-tricks with a brace but was denied a historic fourth successive treble by the left post from a 22nd minute penalty stroke. Bourne opened the scoring with a 34th minute penalty corner conversion and then struck again from open play two minutes after half time. Meg Dowthwaite added Surbiton’s third goal from a penalty corner in the 57th minute.
Surbiton lead East Grinstead by seven points with just three games remaining after Beeston rebounded from the 7-1 home mauling by Surbiton to win 3-2 in West Sussex. Alex Malzer gave East Grinstead a sixth minute lead but Beeston turned the match around by the 20th, Mads Newitt levelling in the 16th minute and Alice Huddlestone putting the Nottingham club ahead, all three goals coming from open play. Lauren Burrell extended Beeston’s lead with a 53rd minute penalty corner conversion, but although Sophie Bray reduced the deficit in the same manner with eight minutes to play, Beeston held on for the win. Bray and Bourne are now locked together on 17 goals in the top goalscorer chart.
Wimbledon closed to within one point of East Grinstead in their quest for a place in Europe, Fiona Burnet’s 56th minute penalty corner enough to secure a 1-0 win at fourth placed Hampstead & Westminster, although only two points separate second to fourth in the race for European qualification.
|4||Hampstead & Westminster||17||11||1||5||41||28||13||34|
|1||University of Birmingham||14||5||5||4||21||25||-4||20|