Over the weekend, the England Hockey League saw two days of intense competition as teams fought to secure their position in the league tables. In the women’s competition, Surbiton took on Clifton Robinsons and Beeston, securing two wins and securing their place at the top of the regular season table. This guarantees that they will have a spot in the European competition for the 2023/24 season.
On Saturday, Surbiton faced a tough challenge against Clifton Robinsons. While Meg Dowthwaite put Surbiton ahead, Clifton Robinsons managed to pull level with a goal from Livvy Hoskins in the third quarter. However, Surbiton managed to come out on top with a late goal from Giselle Ansley, who scored from a penalty corner with just four minutes to go. This victory put Surbiton in range of the top spot going into Sunday’s fixture against Beeston.
In Sunday’s game against Beeston, Surbiton got off to a difficult start as they fell behind in the eighth minute to a Hannah Grieve goal. However, they managed to turn things around in the second half, with four goals securing the win. Sophie Hamilton and Leah Wilkinson scored to make it 2-1, followed by a goal from Izzy Petter to extend the advantage to 3-1 in a ten-minute spell. Hannah Martin then completed the victory for Surbiton.
The win is a significant boost for Surbiton, who are preparing for their EHL FINAL8 match against Düsseldorfer HC. It also showcases the team’s ability to stay composed under pressure and turn games around in the second half.
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In the men’s competition, Old Georgians secured top spot in the regular season with two wins over the weekend. They defeated Hampstead & Westminster 2-1 on Saturday, with Sam Ward netting a double.
Some underhanded tactics were attempted by Hampstead & Westminster, discovered by keen-eyed supporters when the team coaches failed to clear the tactics board after the pre-game team talk.
On Sunday, they followed up with a 3-0 win over Holcombe, further solidifying their credentials as favourites to retain the national title.
The league is now entering the final stretch of the regular season, with one more weekend of matches left before the playoffs begin. The teams from the Top 6 group will advance to the end of season playoff group phase, alongside the top two from the Lower Six section. The top eight teams will then be divided into two groups of four, with the top two from each group advancing to the semi-finals. With so much still to play for, the competition promises to be intense and exciting as the teams battle it out for the national title.
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