23 April 2017 Investec Women’s Hockey League Championship Final

SURBITON 31 HOLCOMBE

Scorers: Ansley 26-PC, Middleton 32-PC, Evans 52-F
Squad: King, Ansley, Haycroft (Capt.), Twigg, Martin, Webb, Atkinson, Defroand, Middleton, Collins, Bray (GK). Subs: Hunter (7′), Chilton (9′), Evans (9′), Robinson (9′), Sharp (9′), Woolven (17′). Sub not used: Shahbo (GK).

Umpires: Hannah Harrison and Emma Shelbourn

Surbiton Ladies beat Holcombe 3-1 to lift the Investec Women’s Hockey League Championships title for the fourth season in succession and guarantee their place in the 2017-18 Euro Hockey Clubs Cup as England’s number one ranked team.

Holcombe, in their first ever Championship final, defended well to try and restrict Surbiton’s scoring chances, captain Sarah Haycroft forcing a save from Holcombe goalkeeper, Grace Lawes in the first quarter.

Surbiton had to wait until four minutes from the end of the first half to take the lead, Giselle Ansley once more displaying her penalty corner expertise and showing why she was the IWHL Premier Division top scorer with 15 goals.

Two minutes after half time, Beckie Middleton, who had scored a spectacular goal to help the reigning champions defeat the University of Birmingham, deflected the ball past Lawes to double Surbiton’s lead from their fifth penalty corner.

Holcombe weren’t dispirited and fought back six minutes later, Eleanor Watton converting her side’s first penalty corner of the match to give the Kent club hope of ending Surbiton’s run.

Surbiton’s Australian player, Naomi Evans sealed the win eight minutes from the end, scoring from open play.

Surbiton goalkeeper, Louisa Bray made an excellent save from Holcombe’s Lucy Wood with five minutes remaining but once they led 3-1, Surbiton were never really in danger of giving up their mantle of reigning champions.

Surbiton will now try and complete the double against Clifton Robinsons next Sunday (30 April) when they meet in the Investec Cup final at Lee Valley at 1 pm.

Then they will prepare for this season’s European venture in Den Bosch, when they compete in the EuroHockey Club Cup from 2-5 June.