Vitality Women’s Hockey League Review
East Grinstead 4-1 Loughborough Students
East Grinstead extended their unbeaten league run to 22 games with a 4-1 home win over Loughborough Students. Loughborough had won 5-1 on their last visit to West Sussex, but found East Grinstead too strong this time.
Sophie Bray’s brace gave East Grinstead a 2-0 lead at half time. By the end of the third quarter, Autumn Bowden and Ellie Rayer had doubled the home advantage to 4-0. Lorna Mackenzie notched a late consolation for the students, but on this form, East Grinstead seem likely to be the team to beat.
Clifton Robinsons 2-2 Surbiton
Reigning champions Surbiton were held to a 2-2 draw by Clifton Robinsons in Bristol. Fielding six debutants, Surbiton took the lead through Alice Wills, only for a Catherine Macaulay double to turn the game around. Eloise Stenner equalised for Surbiton shortly after half time, but neither side could find the winning goal.
Hampstead & Westminster 3-1 Wimbledon
Hampstead & Westminster earned the first bragging rights of the season in London, coming away from Wimbledon with all three points earned by a 3-1 win. Sarah Robertson opened the scoring for Hampstead, only for Sarah Jones to level. Lauren Turner and Esme Burge added further goals for Hampstead to clinch the victory.
Beeston 2-1 Holcombe
Beeston beat Holcombe for the first time in seven attempts but had to come from behind to do it. Candice Manuel put Holcombe ahead before Nadia Benallal equalised. Lucy Millington, Beeston’s new signing from Loughborough was the Nottingham club’s heroine, scoring the winning goal from the penalty spot.
Swansea 1-1 Buckingham
The last time Buckingham visited Swansea in September 2016, the teams drew 1-1 in a Conference West encounter. Five years later, history repeated itself as Jess Roe, who scored Swansea’s only goal in the truncated 2020-21 season, put the Welsh club ahead before Natasha James salvaged a point for Buckingham.