Vitality Women’s Hockey League Premier Division Review – 5 March 2022
Surbiton now hold a four point lead at the top of the Vitality Women’s Hockey League Premier Division Top Six league table after winning their second successive top of the table clash, 4-2 at Hampstead & Westminster, who lost their fourth game out of the last six matches after winning their first nine games of the season.
Surbiton are still unbeaten, Darcy Bourne notching her second hat-trick in succession after returning from England duty in Argentina. Bourne opened the scoring form the penalty spot at the end of the first quarter and added a second from open play in the 24th minute. Hampstead had to wait until the 57th minute to reduce the deficit in half, Lucy Hyams converting a penalty corner for her eighth goal of the season before Surbiton responded with interest, Maddie Long restoring their two goal advantage with five minutes remaining and Bourne completing her hat-trick with her eleventh goal of the season two minutes from the end. Hayley Turner converted another penalty corner in the final minute for a second consolation goal.
East Grinstead are once again Surbiton’s nearest challengers after hitting Clifton Robinsons for six for the second time this season, winning 6-0 after losing 6-0 last week at Surbiton. The game was goalless until the 27th minute when Clifton were stunned by three goals in four minutes, Laura Unsworth converting a penalty corner in the 27th minute before Sophie Bray scored an open play brace in the 29th and 31st minutes to establish a 3-0 half time lead. Guadalupe Fernandez Lacort added a fourth goal three minutes after half time before Bray joined Bourne in the day’s hat-trick club on the hour mark. Ellie Rayer scored the hosts’ sixth goal in the penultimate minute, all three second half goals coming from open play.
Wimbledon moved above Hampstead into third and a point behind East Grinstead thanks to a 4-0 home win over Beeston. Wimbledon were quickly out of the traps with two goals in the first five minutes, Beeston falling behind in the third minute from open play before Hollie Pearne-Webb doubled the lead with a fifth minute penalty corner conversion. Fiona Burnet made it three before half time from open play in the 31st minute, Jones scoring her second goal of the match with the only goal of the second half with another open play goal in the 54th minute.
In the Bottom 5, Buckingham took a giant step towards avoiding relegation by winning 3-2 at Loughborough Students to close to within one point of both Loughborough and Holcombe. Buckingham led three times, Loughborough equalising twice before Buckingham eventually ended all resistance.
Maddie Newlyn put Buckingham ahead in the fifth minute from open play before Lorna Mackenzie equalised from a 29th minute penalty corner. Newlyn restored Buckingham’s lead two minutes after the break, only for Charlotte Watson to equalise a second time, both goals coming from open play. Lottie Porter scored Buckingham’s winning goal in the 49th minute.
The University of Birmingham cemented their seventh place in spite of being held to a draw at Holcombe for the second time this season. Coca Hall gave Birmingham an instant second minute lead from open play but Ivanna Pessina rescued a point for Holcombe from a 47th minute penalty corner to force a 1-1 draw.
Holcombe are in jeopardy as they are eighth on 13points, but are level on points with Loughborough and one point ahead of Buckingham having played one game more. Swansea are ten points adrift in bottom place having had their first of two bye weeks. The University of Birmingham have a one point advantage over Holcombe and Loughborough with a game in hand.
|4||Hampstead & Westminster||15||10||1||4||36||26||10||31|
|1||University of Birmingham||12||3||5||4||17||24||-7||14|