L1 Held By East Grinstead On Opening Day

Surbiton Ladies began their second defence of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division title in the same way as they started the first, drawing their first league game at home. In 2014-15, it was a goalless draw with Reading; in 2015-16, newly-promoted East Grinstead held the league champions to a 1-1 draw at Sugden Road. Surbiton gave debuts to goalkeeper, Amy Gibson; Olivia Chilton and Robyn Collins. Stephanie Addison returned to the squad three years after joining Clifton and Lottie Ross came in as a late replacement for the injured Charlotte Calnan. Surbiton were without Rebecca Herbert, playing league hockey in New Zealand; Hannah Coulson, returning from Western Australia and Harriet Tibble, plus three England internationals, Hollie Webb, Georgie Twigg and Giselle Ansley, although Sarah Haycroft captained the team. East Grinstead were missing Sophie Bray, but included Laura Unsworth in their squad. Surbiton threatened early, with Sarah Page and Jo Hunter combining well and Sarah Haycroft attacking down the right. East Grinstead were confident in defence, Unsworth patiently passing the ball across the back while planning to set up attacks. Surbiton subsequently struggled to find their rhythm, with East Grinstead  finding their way into the circle on occasion. Both sides failed to convert their only penalty corners of the first half, East Grinstead conceding a long corner after Chloe Palmer’s shot was deflected by visiting goalkeeper, Becky Duggan, high over...

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All Change for M1 On Sunday

There will be plenty of new faces on show at Sugden Road this Sunday (13 September, 2pm) when Surbiton host the team which pipped them to top spot in last season’s Men’s Hockey League Premier Division table, East Grinstead. After both teams finished level on points, the West Sussex club snatched European qualification with a four better goal difference. Transfer dealings in the hockey world are rapidly beginning to rival those in football, in quantity though not (for the most part!) in extravagance. And Sugden Road has been no exception in the former category. By the registration deadline of Monday (7 September)) for this weekend’s opening fixtures, six been signed and six departed from last season’s performance squad. Joining the ranks are: Andrew Hayward,  the New Zealand drag-flick specialist from Hampstead & Westminster and German Robert Marx from Berliner. David Bartram and goalkeeper Paul Reeves, both return after a season at Old Georgians. Welsh international Gareth Furlong joins from Dutch second division club Leidsche En Oegstgeester; with youngster, Noah Darlington also registered to play in the national league. Unfortunately Furlong was injured in his first friendly appearance but his hopefully short-term absence is offset by the welcome re-availability of fellow Welsh international Chris Bowen from a season out with injury. Sadly, international William Marshall is still out with an injury picked up in Scotland’s summer European campaign. Going the other way are Adam Jolly...

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L1 Start Title Defence Against East Grinstead On Sat.

Surbiton Ladies begin their quest for a hat-trick of Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division titles when they host newly-promoted East Grinstead at Sugden Road on Saturday, push back 2 pm. East Grinstead completed their rise from Sussex Ladies League to the top flight by winning promotion behind Buckingham in last season’s Promotion Tournament at Lee Valley. East Grinstead have won five titles in six seasons, only being pegged back for one season in 2013-14, when Holcombe won the IWHL Conference East title and promotion to the Premier Division. Former Surbiton player, Sophie Bray has been the key member for East Grinstead, also helping them to promotion to the Hockey 5s Premier Division in indoor hockey. Now that the West Sussex club are in the Premier Division, they have shown their intent to challenge for honours by signing Laura Unsworth from Holcombe. Sisters, Takara and Tacita Haines have also joined from Oxford Hawks and Bognor respectively to boost the  squad. Meanwhile, Scotland’s first choice goalkeeper, Amy Gibson is set to make her Surbiton debut on Saturday after helping Slough to win the IWHL Conference West title, although promotion proved to be elusive last season. Olivia Chilton, who joins from the University of Birmingham and Scottish international, Robyn Collins, who played in the Premier Division for Beeston last season, are also set to play their first competitive match in Surbiton...

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You Watt? Mikie Reflects on Winning Euro Bronze

New M1 signing Andy Hayward tweeted on Wednesday morning: “@ranga05 Sep 9. Game week. Good session last night @SurbitonHC inspired by the appearance of new current FIH European bronze medal champion @mikiewatt.” Michael was returning to club training after competing at the Unibet EuroHockey Championships at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre from 22 to 30 August. It was a remarkable competition in the hockey limelight for Ulsterman Mikie and his world 14th-ranked country, Ireland, with all their games also being shown live on the BBC red button. It was climaxed in the final Saturday (29 August) afternoon’s third/fourth place final when the ‘Green Machine’ twice come from behind to beat fifth-ranked England 4-2  to achieve their country’s first-ever European medal at a twelfth attempt in the fourteen tournaments held since 1970. It was playing in the previous 2013 competition held in Boom, Belgium, where Ireland finished sixth and Todd Williams was assisting coaching them, that Surbiton’s head coach recruited him and Geoff McCabe to his club for the 2013/14 season. Says Mikie: “It is really great having such excellent coaching both with Todd at club level and now Craig Fulton in international competition.” He added: “What’s more since Craig’s brother Grant used to play for Surbiton and fellow bronze medallist Ronan Gormley went to St George’s College Weybridge, both could recommend leafy Surrey to me!” The bronze was...

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M1 Conclude Their Pre-Season Friendlies

Surbiton Men’s 1st XI played their final pre-season practice games over the past two weekends. On Saturday, August 29, they took on Teddington, who finished ninth of ten in last season’s one-tier lower Men’s Hockey League Conference East, and beat them 3-1 at Sugden Road. Then this afternoon, they played a triangular tournament with Indian Gymkhana and hosts Reading at Sonning Lane. Each game was over two 17½-minute periods with a five-minute break between them. In the first game, Reading, who finished sixth in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division last season, beat Indian Gymkhana, who finished eighth in the Men’s Hockey League Conference West, 2-0. Surbiton, runners-up in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division table last season, beat Indan Gymkhana 6-0 in the second game, before losing 3-2 to Reading in the deciding game. Surbiton had only five practice games in total, the only other two played being against visiting German Bundesliga 1 club, Mannheimer. The first game was drawn 2-2 on Saturday 22 August and lost 5-0 the next day, both games played at Sugden...

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