L1 Win 4-1 At The University of Birmingham
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Ladies kept up their recent excellent record at the University of Birmingham, winning 4-1 in the Vitality Women's Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.
Surbiton had won on their previous two visits to the upcoming Commonwealth Games venue and made it a hat-trick with a stunning second half performance.
The University of Birmingham fell behind in the third minute, Leah Wilkinson deflecting the ball into the roof of the net from Surbiton's first penalty corner.
However a defensive lapse allowed Birmingham to equalise from open play in the twelfth minute, Millie Giglio finding the backboard to the delight of the home student supporters.
Having converted their first corner, the first half became a Surbiton penalty corner fiesta with a total of eight awards before half time resulting in the post being struck twice, the crossbar once and a possible penalty stroke award.
Somehow Birmingham survived in a first half which saw some end to end hockey with defences on top.
Surbiton won another four penalty corners in the second half and there was an unfortunate incident when Birmingham's Ailsa Naylor was hit from the visitors' eleventh penalty corner and needed time to recover.
Surbiton struck twice with two goals in as many minutes to take control of the match. First in the 47th minute, Sophie Hamilton ran towards goal before unleashing a fierce shot into the net for a splendid individual goal.
A minute later, Maddie Long followed suit, Birmingham goalkeeper, Evie Wood beaten as Long struck the backboard.
Hamilton struck again in the 61st minute with another excellent goal to complete a convincing victory. which for a bit more luck with the penalty corners could have been by an even wider margin.
Martha Le Huray, recalled to the first team from Surbiton's second team, showed no fear in a forward role, with Alice Wills also impressive in a good team performance.
Leaders Hampstead & Westminster won 4-3 at Buckingham to maintain their one hundred per cent record. Wimbledon beat Beeston 6-0 to go second above East Grinstead, who had the week off.
Surbiton's victory lifted them up to third, two points above East Grinstead, with the West Sussex club having a game in hand.
Birmingham dropped to seventh after Clifton Robinsons won 2-1 at Swansea for their first win of the campaign.
Loughborough Students moved off the bottom of the table with a 1-0 home win over Holcombe, who have only two points from their first five games.