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W1 Visit East Grinstead On Saturday Afternoon


20th October 2023

By Colin Pike

Surbiton Women visit reigning Vitality Women's Hockey League champions, East Grinstead on Saturday (21 October). Push back at Saint Hill is 2 pm.

Those supporters unable to go to Saint Hill can watch the match via the East Grinstead Hockey TV channel on You Tube here

East Grinstead ended Surbiton's run of eight successive league titles when they won the Final of the League Finals tournament 3-2 at Sugden Road back in April.

Surbiton had won 2-1 in the Pool match a week earlier and seemed to be the on form team when they went to Saint Hill last season in the Top 6 and returned with a stunning 8-2 victory in March.

Surbiton had also won 3-0 on the second weekend of the season, but the final match was the match that counted and East Grinstead's historic victory saw them qualify for this season's Euro Hockey League.

East Grinstead had beaten Surbiton 6-1 at Saint Hill in the final match of the 2019-20 before Covid-19 took hold and that remains the West Sussex club's sole victory on home turf, with Surbiton having won six times with one match drawn.

The teams first met in the Premier Division in 2015-16 with Surbiton winning on their first three trips by the same scoreline: 2-0. a 1-1 draw in 2018-19 was followed by East Grinstead's massive win but since lockdown, Surbiton have won 2-1 and 1-0 before last season's 8-2 performance.

East Grinstead's title defence began with a stutter, losing their first two games 2-1, at home to Bowdon on the opening day of the season and at Beeston. They finally got off the mark with a 4-2 home win over the University of Nottingham before losing 3-2 at Wimbledon. 

East Grinstead found some form last weekend when they beat Clifton Robinsons 4-0 at home, a victory which lifted them up to seventh, a point behind the top six teams.

Tess Howard and Sophie Bray have scored nine of East Grinstead's twelve goals between them with Howard on five and Bray on four. Olivia Breed, Sally Sime and Chloe Brown have also troubled the scorers this campaign as East Grinstead aim to move up the table.

With this weekend designated as a double header weekend for both Men's and Women's Premier Divisions, East Grinstead visit Hampstead & Westminster on Sunday whilst Surbiton have a home game against Wimbledon at 2 pm on Sunday.

Surbiton's run of four successive wins following their opening day defeat at Reading means they travel to East Grinstead as league leaders, a point ahead of Bowdon, who were held 1-1 at Wimbledon.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Bowdon host the University of Nottingham; third-placed Reading visit fifth-placed Clifton Robinsons and fourth-placed Hampstead & Westminster are at home to Wimbledon. 

There is an early bottom of the table battle as Isca & University of Exeter host basement team, Loughborough Students and there is a Midlands derby when the University of Birmingham welcome Beeston to the West Midlands.