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Big Weekend For W1 and W2


1st March 2024

By Colin Pike

This Weekend will be a big occasion for both Surbiton's W1 and W2 teams as they will be on course to celebrate finishing top of their respective divisions in the Women's Hockey League as they host a double-header on Saturday.

Surbiton W1 ensured that they will finish top of the Premier Division following their 6-1 home win over the University of Nottingham last Saturday as their nearest rivals, Reading lost 2-1 at Hampstead & Westminster. 

East Grinstead took full advantage by winning 5-0 at Bowdon to move ahead of Reading into second place, eight points behind Surbiton with just two games to play.

Bowdon visit Sugden Road on Saturday (push back 1630) and supporters unable to attend the match can watch the game via the Surbiton Hockey Club channel on You Tube here

Before that at 1430, Surbiton W2 will host Sevenoaks in a Division One South match needing a single point to make absolutely sure of the title. As a second team, they cannot win promotion to the Premier Division and with Surbiton W1 already there, clubs are not allowed to have more than one team in a division. Therefore the promotion race is between Barnes, who trail Surbiton W2 by twelve points with four games to play and Holcombe, who have dropped to third, a point further back after just picking up two points in their last three matches.

Holcombe's 2-2 home draw with Surbiton W2 on 18 February ended the leaders' one hundred per cent record, but Surbiton W2 are away to Slough, home to Harleston Magpies and face a last day possible promotion decider at Barnes in the next few weeks as they aim to become champions in style.

Hannah Denison's 15 league goals added to the eight goals scored by Charlotte Calnan and Amie Hunt's seven goals haul have been instrumental on helping Surbiton stay on course to become the first second team to lift the Division One South title. However, it is a whole team effort with Isabelle Yonge scoring three goals, Imogen Davies, Harriet Bisdee, Josie Roux and Tilly Gibson all scoring twice and Josie Hippe, Martha LeHuray, Pip Stewart and Sarah Johnston also scoring once to help the team to lofty heights.

Surbiton could even be crowned champions before the match if Barnes fail to beat Canterbury in a noon showdown at Dukes Meadow.

There are also hopes of a cup and league double as Surbiton W2 were drawn at home to Beeston W1 in the EH Women's Tier 1 KO Championships on 7 April.

Sevenoaks are fourth in Division One South and were beaten 2-0 at home by Surbiton W2 in November, Yonge and Denison scoring.

Lily Elliott is Sevenoaks' leading goalscorer with seven goals, with Madeleine Moore and Natasha Brennan both on four. Emily Barrett has netted three times this season with Jen Wilson, Sophie Maunder, Jessica Lewis and McKenzie Bell all having found the net once this season.

Meanwhile Surbiton W1 are guaranteed European hockey in 2025 having secured the second European place as a minimum courtesy of their first place finish. 

Bowdon started with three wins out of their first four Premier Division matches after promotion from Division One North in 2022-23, but haven't won since, drawing five and losing five of their last ten games.

Surbiton won 7-1 at Bowdon in November, Bowdon having lost all three games in 2024 including 5-0 home defeats to Reading and East Grinstead in the last two weeks.

So far this season Bowdon haven't found a truly consistent goalscorer with eight players having scored twice and two players scoring once, but can use this season as the starting point for ensuring their top flight status in future seasons.

Historically, Surbiton have had the better of Bowdon in the Women's Hockey League although Bowdon Hightown beat Surbiton 4-1 at Cannock in the Women's Cup Final back in 2011 when Surbiton were in the Conference East.

Bowdon have never beaten Surbiton at Sugden Road and their only league win in 17 encounters came in February 2013 when Tina Cullen and Sally Walton earned a 2-1 home victory, Sarah Page replying for Surbiton.

Surbiton have won 6-0 at home on three occasions with 5-0 and 4-0 wins at Bowdon, but the teams have drawn on five occasions including two goalless draws, both at Bowdon.

Elsewhere in the Top Six, Reading are at home to the University of Nottingham at 1430 and Hampstead & Westminster visit East Grinstead at 1600.

In the Lower Six, both Wimbledon and Clifton Robinsons booked their places in the League Finals last week and meet at Raynes Park High School at 1400 before Surbiton M1 take on Wimbledon at 1600.

Isca & the University of Exeter travel to the University of Birmingham for a 1430 pushback and Beeston are at home to Loughborough Students at 1600.