Surbiton halt Hampstead & Westminster charge

Vitality Women’s Hockey League Premier Division Review – 27 November 2021

Surbiton beat Hampstead & Westminster 3-2 to end the London club’s nine-game winning start to the season and to ensure that both Surbiton and East Grinstead closed to within three points of Hampstead at the top of the Vitality Women’s Hockey League at the end of Phase 1.

Surbiton led Hampstead 2-0 with Darcy Bourne breaking the deadlock in the tenth minute and Georgie Twigg doubling the lead in the 18th. Grace Balsdon pulled a goal back three minutes before halftime, all three first-half goals coming from penalty corners. Bourne restored Surbiton’s two-goal advantage from open play in the 43rd minute before Emily Douglas gave Hampstead hope of a late comeback with a penalty corner conversion eight minutes from time, but Surbiton held on to maintain their own unbeaten record.

East Grinstead stay above Surbiton in second place with a seven better goal difference after a convincing 6-1 home win over Clifton Robinsons. Clifton slumped to a third straight defeat having already clinched their top-six place. East Grinstead struck quickly with Lydia Macdonell opening the scoring from open play in the fifth minute, closely followed by Chloe Brown’s eighth-minute penalty corner conversion. Robyn Bentley scored in her third successive match in the 29th minute, her penalty corner giving East Grinstead a 3-0 halftime lead.

Holly Munro reduced East Grinstead’s lead to 3-1 from a 42nd-minute penalty corner, only for Sophie Bray to immediately respond with her tenth goal of the campaign. Bentley scored her second goal of the match from open play in the 47th minute, Eliza Wheeler sealing the win in the 58th minute from open play.

Clifton’s defeat meant that Beeston were guaranteed to finish fifth, but they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Loughborough Students. Olivia Hamilton’s fourth-minute penalty corner conversion set the students on their way before Izzy Petter’s 26th-minute open play effort put Loughborough in control at the interval.

Mads Newitt scored for Beeston in the 51st minute from open play, but the Nottingham club couldn’t find an equaliser as Loughborough picked up their first win on the road this season. Loughborough still finished two points adrift of sixth-placed Clifton Robinsons.

Holcombe lifted themselves up to eighth place with their 4-1 home win over bottom club, Swansea. Emma Bandurak opened the scoring from open play in the 15th minute, with Ivanna Pessina adding a second goal from open play in the 22nd minute. Pessina caught Swansea out with a third goal immediately after half time and although Beth Wood netted for Swansea from a penalty corner, Candice Manuel completed the scoring in the 55th minute from open play to leave Swansea five points adrift at the bottom.

Holcombe could yet be overtaken by either the University of Birmingham or Buckingham as their scheduled meeting in the Midlands was postponed due to snow covering the pitch.

1Hampstead & Westminster1090126121427
2East Grinstead1080233122124
6Clifton Robinsons103341522-712
7Loughborough Students103161528-1310
9University of Birmingham91441121-107

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