L1 Relegated From Super Sixes Premier
By Colin Pike
In spite of an improved performance over the second weekend of competition, Surbiton Ladies were relegated from the Super Sixes Premier Division after winning one of their last two games at Telford.
Needing to win both of their games against relegation rivals Clifton Robinsons and Leicester, Surbiton beat Clifton 7-3 but lost 7-1 to Leicester, the East Midlands club beating Clifton Robinsons 7-2 to complete the great escape.
Buoyed by their excellent 2-2 draw with Bowdon Hightown on Saturday, Surbiton took the lead in the seventh minute against Clifton, Issy Carey converting a penalty corner.
Although Claire Thomas equalised from the penalty spot in the ninth minute, goals from Erica Sanders in the 17th minute and captain, Natalie Maclean in the 19th minute gave Surbiton a 3-1 half time lead.
Thomas reduced the deficit two minutes into the second half, but second goals from Maclean in the 25th minute and Carey at the end of the third quarter earned Surbiton a convincing 5-2 lead.
Clifton pulled back a third goal in the 35th minute through Dayzee Booth but two goals in the 36th minute from Sanders and Erica Sanders ensured that Surbiton won their first ever match in the top flight at the 15th attempt, having drawn three of the previous fourteen games.
The victory meant that Surbiton could avoid the drop with victory over Leicester, but having narrowly lost to Sutton Coldfield on Saturday evening, Leicester were in no mood to suffer relegation.
A brace from Lauren Turner in the third and sixth minutes put Surbiton on the back foot and although Carey scored for Surbiton at the end of the first quarter, that was as close as Surbiton were to get.
Rachael Mack extended Leicester's lead in the 24th minute with Hepi Oriwa scoring a minute later and when Stephanie Hale put Leicester 5-1 up in the 29th minute, Surbiton had a real mountain to climb.
Oriwa and Hale stunned Surbiton with two quick goals in the 33rd and 34th minutes to complete the 7-1 victory and preserve Leicester's top flight status.
Surbiton were relegated with Clifton and will be replaced by Wimbledon and Repton.
In Division One next season, along with Clifton, Surbiton will play Cambridge City, Harleston Magpies, Reading, Sevenoaks and the University of Birmingham.
Surbiton will also play the top two teams in next weekend's Division Two tournament which will take place at Nottingham Trent University.
Bedford, Gloucester City, Guildford, Ipswich, Stourport and Trojans will all compete for two places in Division One.
However, Surbiton will not play Beeston or Canterbury as they were relegated to Division Two.