Vitality Women’s Hockey League Premier Division Review – 12 March 2022
Surbiton maintained their four point lead at the top of the Vitality Women’s Hockey League Premier Division Top Six table when they made history at Nottingham Hockey Centre as Beeston lost 7-1 to suffer their heaviest home defeat at Premier Division level.
But even more historical was Darcy Bourne’s feat of scoring a hat-trick in a third successive league game, putting the icing on the cake by helping herself to four goals after scoring three at home to East Grinstead and three at Hampstead & Westminster on the two previous weekends.
The last player to achieve the feat was Tina Cullen, playing for Hightown, but the three games were spread out over between 24 November 2001 and 23 February 2002 due to a Christmas break and a rearranged international tournament. Cullen scored three at Sutton Coldfield in a 3-3 draw and then after the Christmas break, scored three goals in a 6-2 home win over Ipswich on 3 February. After the Women’s Cup on 10 February and the Champions Challenge in Johannesburg caused the 17 February schedule to be postponed, Cullen scored all three Hightown goals in another 3-3 home draw, this time with Clifton, having scored a hat-trick in Hightown’s seventh, eighth and ninth games of the season. The run ended in Hightown’s tenth league game at Canterbury on 2 March.
Incredibly, Imogen Robertson, who scored twice for Clifton in the match at Hightown, had scored a hat-trick in three successive games earlier in the season without any interruptions and with the same teams involved. With the 2001-02 season start delayed until October, Robertson scored her first hat-trick at home to Hightown in a 4-1 win on 20 Oct. A week later, Robertson scored all three goals in a 3-0 win at Sutton Coldfield and on 3 November, the third hat-trick helped Clifton beat Ipswich 5-0 before the run ended in a goalless top of the table clash at Slough which saw both teams lose their one hundred per cent records.
Back in 2022, Surbiton led 2-0 after just seven minutes, Bourne getting off the mark in the second minute and Maddie Long scoring Surbiton’s second goal. After a goalless second quarter, Surbiton struck quickly after half time, Bourne scoring the visitors’ third open play goal of the match in the 38th minute before completing her historic hat-trick from the penalty spot two minutes later.
Lucy Millington scored what turned out to be Beeston’s consolation goal from open play in the 44th minute before Bourne scored her fourth and Surbiton’s fifth goal, again from open play in the 51st minute. Two goals in the last three minutes sealed the 7-1 win, Georgie Twigg converting a penalty corner in the 67th minute and Alice Sharp scoring from open play in the penultimate minute.
Bourne took her tally for the season to 15, but Sophie Bray is one ahead on 16 after East Grinstead had a tougher battle in London against Wimbledon before winning 2-1. Bray gave East Grinstead an eleventh-minute lead, only for Olivia Chilton to equalise for the hosts in the 22nd minute. After two open play goals, Bray’s winner in the 51st minute came from a penalty corner conversion to keep up the pressure on Surbiton.
Hampstead & Westminster took out all of their frustration from last week’s home defeat against Surbiton on Clifton Robinsons as they won 5-1 in Bristol. Hampstead led 2-0 courtesy of Jasmine Clark’s 22nd minute open play goal and Fran Tew’s 28th minute penalty corner conversion. Lauren Turner was briefly Hampstead’s leading goalscorer on nine points in the 52nd minute before Lucy Hyams drew level three minutes later, both goals coming from open play. Livvy Hoskins pulled a goal back for Clifton Robinsons in the 56th minute, but Grace Balsdon scored Hampstead’s fifth goal from a penalty corner conversion with two minutes remaining.
Time is running out for Swansea in the Bottom 5 as they lost 3-0 at Buckingham, who moved up to eighth after putting together a three game winning run. Lauren Thomas gave Buckingham the lead from a 22nd minute penalty corner conversion with Lottie Porter scoring twice from open play in the second half, with goals in the 47th and 64th minutes.
Loughborough Students dropped into the relegation zone after they lost 3-1 at the University of Birmingham. After a goalless first half, Becky Manton gave Birmingham the lead from open play in the 39th minute with her eighth goal of the season, with Lexie Clark scoring a brace to put Birmingham 3-0 up, doubling the hosts’ lead from open play in the 46th minute, and converting a 57th minute penalty corner. Ellie Mackenzie scored Loughborough’s goal in the 69th minute. Birmingham’s victory cemented their seventh position with a two point advantage over Buckingham.
|3||Hampstead & Westminster||16||11||1||4||41||27||14||34|
|1||University of Birmingham||13||4||5||4||20||25||-5||17|