Vitality Women’s Hockey League Preview & Media Guide
20/21 November 2021
Leaders, Hampstead & Westminster have a week off after a run of nine straight wins which has seen them dominate the Vitality Women’s Hockey League Premier Division this season.
Second placed East Grinstead can close to within three points of Hampstead if they win both games of their double header this weekend. On Saturday, East Grinstead travel to Buckingham, who after going unbeaten in their first four games, have lost the last four to drop down the table from fourth to eighth, moving up to seventh only due to the University of Birmingham’s 7-0 defeat at home to East Grinstead last weekend.
Then on Sunday, East Grinstead host Surbiton, along with Hampstead, the only unbeaten teams in the division, but Surbiton are only in fourth having dropped points due to three draws in their first seven games. East Grinstead will be confident having won their last two league matches against Surbiton, who had been unbeaten in the league against the West Sussex club until East Grinstead won 6-1 at home on the last day of the 2019-20 season. That was followed up by a maiden win (1-0) at Sugden Road in the shortened 2020-21 campaign.
On Saturday, Surbiton will visit a Holcombe team, currently having a disappointing season in the Premier Division with just one win in eight games, but still barely in contention for a top six place with two games remaining.
Beeston, currently with a four point cushion in sixth place can clinch their top six place with a win at bottom club, Swansea on Saturday. Beeston won 4-0 at home to the Welsh club in 2020-21 but historically the teams previously met as Nottingham Highfields and Swansea City back in 2005-06.
Clifton Robinsons can also seal their place in the top six with a point against Wimbledon, currently third and two points ahead of Surbiton but having played two games more. On home turf, Clifton will be belatedly celebrating last week’s achievement of playing their 500th regular season Premier Division match, Beeston spoiling the party with a 2-0 win in Nottingham.
If Clifton and Beeston slip up, Loughborough Students and the University of Birmingham will hope to stay in contention with a win in Loughborough. Neither side is in particularly good form having lost their last two matches, but defeat for either side will definitely put paid to their faint hopes of reaching the top six.