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W1 Visit East Grinstead On Saturday


16th February 2024

By Colin Pike

Surbiton Women visit East Grinstead in the Women's Hockey League Premier Division for the second time this season on Saturday afternoon (push back at Saint Hill is at 1600).

Surbiton will be hoping for a second win of the campaign in West Sussex following their 4-1 victory back in October, Hannah French scoring twice for Surbiton with Martha Taylor and Leah Wilkinson also finding the net. Laura Roper scored what turned out to be a consolation goal for East Grinstead.

Supporters unable to get to East Grinstead can watch the match live via the East Grinstead Hockey TV channel on You Tube here

Surbiton have won on their last four trips to Saint Hill, including a memorable 8-2 victory in March 2023 to avenge their 6-1 defeat at the same venue at the end of the 2019-20 season.

Since that 6-1 defeat, East Grinstead have won twice at Sugden Road, 1-0 in the truncated 2020-21 season and 3-2 in last season's Final of the League Finals tournament to end Surbiton's run of national titles.

East Grinstead are currently third, eleven points behind leaders Surbiton, closing to within three points of second placed Reading courtesy of last weekend's 4-1 away win in Berkshire.

Tess Howard's brace at Sonning Lane took her season tally to eleven goals, with Sophie Bray second on eight. Grace Balsdon has scored five goals, with Liv Breed, Chloe Brown and Biba Mills all on two.

Sally Sime, Laura Roper, Anna Moore, Anna Faulstich and Alex Malzer have all scored once this season as East Grinstead defend their maiden Women's Hockey League championship.

Their home defeat to Surbiton was East Grinstead's last loss, winning five of their last six league games to try and find form in the run-up to the League Finals Pools stage.

Meanwhile, Surbiton haven't looked back since their opening day defeat at Reading, and go into Saturday's match with an eleven game winning streak, returning to winning ways in their first match of 2024 with a 2-0 victory at Hampstead & Westminster. 

Meg Dowthwaite celebrated her return to the squad by opening the scoring with Wilkinson adding the second from a penalty corner. Hannah French is Surbiton's leading goalscorer on ten goals, with Wilkinson now on seven. Sophie Hamilton's five goals, Martha Taylor's four goals and Dowthwaite's three goals have all contributed to Surbiton's eight point advantage over Reading at the top of the table. Izzy Petter and Giselle Ansley's braces plus single goals from Josie Hippe, Steph Elliott and Amy Costello have also been vital as Surbiton aim to finish top of the Premier Division at the end of Stage Two and earn a minimum of the second European place.

Elsewhere in the Top Six, Reading head to Bowdon and Hampstead & Westminster travel to the University of Nottingham.

In the Lower Six, Wimbledon and Clifton Robinsons are currently in line to join the Top Six teams in the League Finals Pool stage. Clifton Robinsons host Beeston, who ended a long run without a win by beating the University of Birmingham 1-0 at home last weekend. Wimbledon welcome Isca & University of Exeter to South West London and Loughborough Students are at home to the University of Birmingham.