EuroHockey Club Cup 7th-8th Playoff – 20 May 2018

SURBITON 40 UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN

Scorers: Giselle Ansley 35-PC, Georgie Twigg 39-PC, Hannah Martin 56-F, Beckie Middleton 60-F
Squad: Giselle Ansley, Sarah Haycroft (Capt.), Georgie Twigg, Jo Hunter, Hannah Martin, Emily Atkinson, Beckie Middleton, Sarah Page, Hollie Pearne-Webb, Alice Sharp, Abi Walker (GK).

Subs: Olivia Chilton (4″), Holly Payne (7″), Robyn Collins (10″), Anabel Herzsprung (10″), Stephanie Addison (14″), Lucy Holder (43″), Ellie Shahbo (GK) (59″).

Umpires: Gabriele Schmitz (Germany) and Anne van den Bosch (Belgium)

After a goalless first half, Surbiton Ladies found their form at last against University College Dublin on Sunday morning to finish seventh in the EuroHockey Club Cup.

A top four finish was Surbiton’s target at the start of the tournament, but defeat to Club Campo De Madrid, destined to finish third and a devastating shootout loss to Victorya Smolevichi of Belarus left the five times national champions battling for the lesser placings.

The match was also the last appearance in Surbiton colours for Beckie Middleton and Sarah Page, Middleton (née Herbert) joined Surbiton in 2013 from Dutch club, Pinoké, having played for Leicester against Surbiton in the Investec Cup quarter-final in 2010. Page joined Surbiton in 2012 after four years at the University of Birmingham and was a member of Birmingham’s Investec Cup winning squad in 2012.

Surbiton struggled to get into their rhythm in the first half, with UCD’s Ellen Curran making a penetrating run in the fourth minute, and Dierdre Duke shooting past the right post six minutes later. Kathryn Mullan forced a save from Surbiton goalkeeper, Abi Walker in the 24th minute from UCD’s only penalty corner of the half, with UCD very much in contention at half time with the scoreline blank.

Just five minutes into the second half, Surbiton made the breakthrough. Giselle Ansley’s drag-flick was deflected off an Irish defender into the goal, with Jo Hunter, strategically placed on the ground in front of goal just failing to get a touch.

Four minutes later, Surbiton’s penalty corner routine worked again. Initially a penalty stroke was awarded, but with Ansley preparing to take the stroke, the umpires consulted and changed the decision to a penalty corner.  A well worked routine found Emily Atkinson at the left post, the ball finding its way to the far post where in a scramble, Georgie Twigg poked the ball home to double Surbiton’s lead.

With four minutes remaining, Hannah Martin found the backboard to put Surbiton 3-0 up to make the match effectively safe. UCD elected to use a kicking back with just under three minutes remaining, and with just 12 seconds remaining came the moment of the match.

An attack found Middleton in the circle facing an empty goal, the ball rolled into the goal with Middleton’s last touch for the club and a celebration to match.

Holcombe are set to meet Junior HC of Spain in the EuroHockey Club Trophy Final on Monday and after this weekend’s tournaments, the coefficient table which determines how many teams each country has in the Cup and Trophy will be recalculated. It is also likely that following Surbiton’s disappointing performance that they will be given a tough draw in next season’s competition.

More information about the EHCC can be found at the EHF Altius website