Surbiton Ladies travel to Paddington Recreation Ground on Sunday to finally compete in the Investec Adult Women’s Tier One Quarter-Final (push back 2 pm).
Due to the “Beast From The East” which led to a backlog of fixtures, the last eight matchup has been delayed, but Surbiton, missing seven international players currently competing in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, will hope to earn a home semi-final match against either Bowdon Hightown or Brooklands Poynton.next weekend.
That tie was left incomplete due to a timer issue with floodlights after the teams drew 2-2 in normal time and were level in the penalty stroke barrage. The match has also been rearranged for tomorrow.
However, Clifton Robinsons will play Buckingham in the semi-finals after Claire Thomas and Jo Leigh scored in a 2-0 win over Reading in their quarter-final.
Hampstead beat Sevenoaks 6-2 and Barnes 3-0 at home to get to the last eight of the competition. Surbiton beat Wapping 7-1; East Grinstead 2-1 and St. Albans 2-0, also all at home to reach the quarter-finals.
Hampstead have more than cup ambitions on their mind as they have the Promotion Tournament to cope with as they aim to play in the top flight of English hockey next season. They are due to play Beeston (Conference North), Stourport (Conference West) and Slough (9th in Premier Division) with the top two teams playing in the 2018-19 Premier Division. The tournament will be held over two weekends in Nottingham and the University of Birmingham.
Hampstead finally completed their league season today with a 7-2 win at St. Albans. In their 18 Conference East matches, Hampstead have scored 74 goals and just conceded ten, finally finishing six points ahead of runners-up, Wimbledon.
Joyce Esser is Hampstead’s top scorer with twelve goals but a good all round performance has helped the Central London club to the Conference East title. Amy Askew has scored nine goals with Anabel Driver and Louise Radford having scored eight goals. Emily Maguire and former Surbiton player Elen Barnes have also given support although Hampstead will be without Sarah Robertson, on duty with Scotland on the Gold Coast alongside Surbiton’s Robyn Collins.
Surbiton and Hampstead go back to the South Clubs’ Women’s Hockey League where Hampstead won promotion from Division Two in 2006-07, but Surbiton overtook them in 2009-10, winning promotion to the England Hockey League from Division One.
Hampstead had to wait until 2014-15 to win Division One and enter the England Hockey League themselves, having seen Wimbledon, East Grinstead and Maidenhead pip them to the title in previous seasons. Now in 2017-18, Hampstead are on the cusp of joining their Men’s team in the Premier Division.
In league hockey, Surbiton have struggled against Hampstead. Surbiton won in December 2002, but even when Surbiton won SCWHL Division One, Hampstead held them to a 2-2 draw at Sugden Road before winning 3-2 at Paddington Recreation Ground. Former Hockeyroo, Georgie Parker, now competing in Women’s Australian Rules Football with Collingwood scored both goals for Surbiton in the 2-2 draw.
Surbiton have been more fortunate in knockout competitions, winning the Investec Women’s Cup in Nottingham with a 7-1 win in April 2014, and then beginning their defence at Paddington Rec the following October with a 5-0 win.
Hampstead have strengthened since then and now have serious ambitions as a hockey club and with Surbiton having key players missing, the Conference East champions could reach the semi-finals.