Women’s Super-Sixes Weekend 2 Review
Women’s Premier Division
East Grinstead will play Slough and Repton will meet Buckingham in the Super Sixes semi-finals day at the Copper Box on 30 January after all four teams qualified following a second weekend of action in Repton.
The first weekend had taken place at Whitgift School, but in Derbyshire, East Grinstead won all four games, 9-1 against Wimbledon; 9-3 against reigning champions, Buckingham; 3-2 over Sutton Coldfield and 3-1 against Holcombe to qualify in first place.
Repton, promoted from Division One in 2020, made an immediate impact in the top flight, finishing second, three points behind East Grinstead, strongly supported by Sally Walton, the division’s top scorer with 19 goals. A 5-3 win over Bowdon Hightown, one of Walton’s former clubs, ultimately prevented the northern club from reaching the final four. Holcombe were dismissed 10-3, Slough were beaten 4-2 and if the first meeting was an indication of what Finals day has in store, Repton’s pulsating 6-6 draw with Buckingham, when Repton came back from 6-2 down to earn a point, should prove to be an intriguing preview.
Buckingham couldn’t replicate their form of the first weekend when they won three of four games, losing to East Grinstead, beating relegation candidates Leicester 4-3 and drawing with Repton and fellow semi-finalists, Slough (2-2) before finishing in third place
In spite of beating Sutton Coldfield 3-1 and Wimbledon 4-1, their defeat to Repton and the draw with Buckingham left Slough hoping that Bowdon Hightown would fail to beat Wimbledon in the last game of the weekend, so they could return to the Copper Box. Slough’s wishes came true although Bowdon came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3, unable to find the all-important winner in the last two minutes.
Bowdon’s comeback also meant that Wimbledon were relegated on goal difference from Leicester along with Holcombe. Wimbledon had been promoted as Division One champions in 2020 along with Repton, but Wimbledon and Repton’s fortunes in the top division were vastly different. Holcombe had also been promoted as Division One champions in 2016 and had lost to 4-3 to eventual champions, Bowdon Hightown in the semi-final in 2018 before finishing sixth in both 2019 and 2020.
Women’s Division One
Wimbledon and Holcombe will be replaced in the Premier Division by Surbiton and Sevenoaks after Division One moved from Telford to Bristol for the second weekend.
Surbiton made an immediate return to the Premier Division after being relegated in 2020, whilst Sevenoaks are back in the top flight for the first time since 2008. As recently as 2017, Sevenoaks were in Division Two and after returning to Division One, narrowly missed promotion in both 2018 and 2019, finishing third. A fourth place finish in 2020 has now been followed up by promotion as runners-up.
Surbiton won seven of their eight games over the two weekends, only slipping up with a 2-2 draw with Gloucester City in their final game, when not only promotion, but the Championship had been decided.
A 9-2 win over Reading and an 8-3 victory over Clifton Robinsons had all but confirmed Surbiton’s promotion on Saturday evening. A 5-0 win defeat of Cambridge City on Sunday earned the promotion and the title was confirmed when Sevenoaks and Guildford played out an exciting 5-5 draw.
Sevenoaks ultimately pipped Clifton Robinsons, relegated with Surbiton in 2020, by one point to the second promotion place thanks to a 4-1 win over Reading in their last game.
Having suffered two heavy defeats on Saturday (7-1 to Sevenoaks and 8-3 to Surbiton), Clifton Robinsons finished strongly, beating Harleston Magpies 6-0 and University of Birmingham 7-1.
Guildford, promotion candidates with Sevenoaks, finished fourth after two draws on the last day, a 3-3 stalemate with Reading following the 5-5 thriller with Sevenoaks.
In spite of their admirable draw with Surbiton, Gloucester City were relegated together with the University of Birmingham to Division Two. A second 2-2 draw on Sunday with Cambridge City proved costly as a victory would have preserved their Division One status.