Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division – 20 October 2018

SURBITON 60 BOWDON HIGHTOWN

Scorers: Jo Hunter 30-F, 32-F; Giselle Ansley 44-PC, Phoebe Willars 51-PC, Erica Sanders 52-F, Sarah Evans 66-F
Squad: Grace O’Hanlon (GK); Giselle Ansley, Sarah Evans (Capt.), Hannah Martin, Holly Payne, Emily Atkinson, Emily Defroand, Erica Sanders, Susie Catlin, Alice Sharp, Robyn Collins.

Subs: Jo Hunter (6 mins), Georgie Twigg (7), Ella Burnley (9), Olivia Chilton (9), Phoebe Willars (17).

Umpires: Clare White and Rebecca Woodcock

Match Official: Jo Pennycook

Surbiton Ladies finally found their goalscoring form against Bowdon Hightown at Sugden Road on Saturday in their Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division clash.

Staunch defending by Bowdon meant that Surbiton had to be patient and wait until the 30th minute to break the deadlock, but having unlocked the visitors’ defence, scoring twice before half time, Surbiton went on the rampage in the second half to score four unanswered goals.

Bowdon came to Elmbridge in ninth place in the IWHL Premier, having earned two points from their first four matches, and tried to frustrate Surbiton with strong defence, Sian French, Kayleigh Maw, Charlene Mason and Julie Whiting all making timely interceptions and key tackles.

Giselle Ansley shot wide from an eighth minute penalty corner after Erica Sanders and Jo Hunter combined in attack, but a minute later, Catherine Thompson made a penetrating run as Bowdon tried to stun the reigning champions.

Charlene Mason forced a save from Grace O’Hanlon in the Surbiton goal from Bowdon’s first penalty corner, but although Holly Payne shot wide, Sanders forced a save from Bowdon goalkeeper, Amanda Ferebee and Susie Catlin also shot wide, it seemed that Surbiton once again would struggle to profit from their possession.

That all changed late in the first half when Hunter scored twice. Five minutes before half time, Hunter fell to the floor with the effort of finishing at the left post and then two minutes later beat Ferebee again from open play to give Surbiton a useful 2-0 half time lead.

In the 44th minute, Bowdon conceded a third, Ansley converting a penalty corner with her third league goal of the season to put Surbiton firmly in control.

Midway through the second half, Surbiton struck twice in as many minutes with first, Phoebe Willars putting away a rebound from the hosts’ third penalty corner in the 51st minute and then a minute later, Erica Sanders opening her Surbiton account in fine style from open play.

Surbiton were now playing flowing hockey with Alice Sharp and Hannah Martin setting up another chance for Sanders which went narrowly wide of the goal.

Surbiton captain, Sarah Evans completed the scoring with four minutes to play as the Bowdon defence struggled to cope with Surbiton’s attacking play. Evans had earlier been a threat, running towards goal before shooting wide and on a subsequent attack only denied by Rosie Bailey.

Robyn Collins was unlucky not to score Surbiton’s seventh goal with two late penalty corner opportunities, but Surbiton settled for their third 6-0 home win over Bowdon, having won in November 2014 and March 2017.

In the other game on Saturday, Canterbury snatched a late point at the University of Birmingham with a 1-1 draw.

Second placed Holcombe host East Grinstead on Sunday, Buckingham are at home to Beeston and Clifton Robinsons welcome Slough to Bristol.

Surbiton Ladies travel to Beeston next Saturday for the first half of a doubleheader in Nottingham. Their match at 4 pm is followed by Surbiton Men at 6 pm, when Beeston celebrate Oktoberfest.