Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division – 10 March 2018


Scorers: Emily Defroand 2-F, Beckie Middleton 8-F, 41-F, 52-F; Giselle Ansley 20-PS, 29-PC, 56-PC; Hannah Martin 61-PC
Squad: Giselle Ansley, Sarah Haycroft (Capt.), Georgie Twigg, Emily Atkinson, Olivia Chilton, Emily Defroand, Beckie Middleton, Hollie Pearne-Webb, Alice Sharp, Anabel Herzsprung, Ellie Shahbo (GK).

Subs: Hannah Martin (7″), Izzy Petter (9″), Jo Hunter (10″), Ella Burnley (14″), Holly Payne (17″)

Umpires: Caroline Frye and Cathy Wright

Match Official: James Boylan

Surbiton Ladies bounced back from last weekend’s disappointing 2-1 home defeat by Holcombe to hand Slough their biggest home defeat in the top flight in five years, 8-1 at Upton Court Road on Saturday.

Surbiton had won 6-1 at the same venue in March 2013, whilst Reading had won 8-1 in March 2012. The win was also Surbiton’s biggest away win in the IWHL, having won 6-0 at the University of Birmingham in February 2017.

Slough, facing five matches in the last three weeks of the season as they battle to pull away from the bottom of the table, fell behind in the second minute, Emily Defroand scoring her second league goal of the season against former Surbiton keeper, Asha Tranquille-Day.

Six minutes later, Hannah Martin ran through the home defence to link up with Beckie Middleton to double Surbiton’s lead.  In the 20th minute, Giselle Ansley scored for the fourth time this season from the penalty spot to give Surbiton a commanding 3-0 lead as Slough strugged to contain Surbiton’s attackers.

In the 29th minute, Ansley was on target again, this time finding the backboard with a drag-flick as Surbiton went into the half time break with a 4-0 lead.

Rain threatened but never arrived in Berkshire but at half time the floodlights were switched on as Surbiton continued to feature in the spotlight. Anabel Herzspring set up Middleton’s second goal of the game and Surbiton’s fifth in the 41st minute.

Slough never gave up and were rewarded with a goal in the 51st minute, Georgina Bathurst scoring what would only prove to be a consolation goal under the circumstances.

With husband Barry having been on the scoresheet in Malaysia on Friday with spectacular goals, Beckie completed her hat-trick within a minute of Bathurst’s strike to make it a memorable weekend for the Middleton household.

Ansley followed suit in the 56th minute to take her total league tally to nine and close the gap on division leading goalscorer, Erica Sanders, who scored her tenth goal of the season for the University of Birmingham in a 4-2 defeat at Canterbury.

Martin, whose runs had caused problems for the Slough defence got on the scoresheet with nine minutes to play, putting away a rebound after Ansley forced a drag-flick save from Tranquille-Day.

In the closing minutes, Slough had more possession in the Surbiton half, but the visitors defended comfortably to come away with all three points.

Slough improved their chances of staying in the Premier Division with a 2-1 win at Leicester on Sunday afternoon. Slough moved up to eighth with Clifton Robinsons dropping to ninth and currently on course to defend their top flight status via the Promotion Tournament. Clifton are due to visit Leicester on 18 March.

Surbiton lead East Grinstead by three points having played a game more and host the West Sussex club next Saturday (2 pm push back). Former Surbiton player, Chloe Palmer scored twice as East Grinstead beat Buckingham 3-1, a result which confirms Surbiton’s place in the end of season Championships.

Holcombe lost ground with a 1-1 home draw with Leicester, a result which sees them drop to three points behind the reigning champions. The University of Birmingham were in the driving seat last week, but last weekend’s 3-0 loss at East Grinstead and this week’s 4-2 defeat at Canterbury has seen them fall away, although if they win their game in hand, they would be two points behind Surbiton.

Fifth placed Buckingham now have faint hopes of qualifying for the Championships and Bowdon Hightown drew 2-2 at home to Clifton Robinsons, a result which sees the Altrincham club cement their mid-table position.