Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division – 24 February 2018

CLIFTON ROBINSONS 13 SURBITON

Scorers: Hollie Pearne-Webb 6-PC, Sarah Page 47-F, Georgie Twigg 54-F
Squad: Giselle Ansley, Georgie Twigg, Hannah Martin, Emily Atkinson, Emily Defroand, Beckie Middleton, Sarah Page, Hollie Pearne-Webb (Capt.), Holly Payne, Anabel Herzsprung, Ellie Shahbo (GK).

Subs: Jo Hunter (9″), Lucy Holder (13″), Olivia Chilton (20″), Ella Burnley (30″).

Sub not used: Alessia Robinson.

Umpires: Eric Dickinson and David Howell

Match Official: Ben Redwood

Surbiton Ladies moved back to the top of the Investec Women’s Hockey League following their 3-1 win at Clifton Robinsons. The University of Birmingham, the leaders at the start of the day, were kept on ice after their match at East Grinstead was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Clifton included former Surbiton players, Kate Holmes and Hannah Coulson in their starting line-up.

On a sunny, but still bitterly cold day in Bristol, Surbiton had early chances to score, Annabel Herzsprung forcing a save from home goalkeeper, Sarah Ellis, and Hannah Martin shooting past the right post.

Surbiton took the lead in the sixth minute, Hollie Pearne-Webb converting the visitors’ first penalty corner of the game via a defensive deflection.  The umpires consulted before confirming that the goal would stand.

Georgie Twigg also forced a save from Ellis as Surbiton continued to create chances, but it was Clifton who scored the next goal.

In the 20th minute, from Clifton’s only penalty corner award of the match, Abi Porter equalised after the Surbiton defenders failed to clear a well manoeuvred routine which carried the ball from the left to the right of the circle before Porter put the ball away.

Twigg was frustrated after a shot whistled past the right post and Jo Hunter had a double chance to score near the end of the first save, a shot past the left post following yet another Ellis save.

Youngster, Ella Burnley combined well with Herzsprung but to no avail, Surbiton having to settle for a 1-1 scoreline at half time.

Clifton had the chance to take the lead early in the second half from a breakaway attack following a Surbiton turnover, but visiting goalkeeper, Ellie Shahbo saved the day.

Ellis denied Beckie Middleton before Sarah Page restored Surbiton’s lead in the 47th minute with a shot which eluded Ellis and rebounded off the backboard.

Twigg extended Surbiton’s lead seven minutes later, her shot landing in the right corner netting beyond Ellis to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.

Clifton’s Zoe Leach ran at the Surbiton defence before being stopped as the Bristol club tried to fight their way back into the match but Surbiton came away from Coombe Dingle Sports Complex with all three points.

Holcombe lost the chance to join Birmingham on 26 points when they were held to a 3-3 home draw by Buckingham, Lauren Thomas equalising for Buckingham from a post whistle penalty corner. Holcombe stay third on 24 points.

Bowdon Hightown cemented their sixth place with a narrow 1-0 home win over Canterbury, Tara Melvin scoring the only goal. Canterbury stay eighth, but with ninth placed Slough due to visit bottom club Leicester next Sunday in a game rearranged from this weekend due to Slough’s European indoor hockey adventure in Prague their could be musical chairs at the bottom of the table.

Surbiton are at home to Holcombe next Saturday (push back 4 pm) as part of a men’s/ women’s double header with the Men playing Holcombe at 6 pm.