L1 All But Promoted From Super 6s Division 1
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Ladies have all but won promotion from the Super Sixes Division One after maintaining their one hundred per cent record, winning their first two matches in Bristol.
Officially, Surbiton need one point from their last two matches on Sunday against Cambridge City and Gloucester City, with Guildford six points behind with two matches to play, but realistically, even if Surbiton, Sevenoaks and Guildford all ended up on eighteen points, Surbiton's goal difference advantage would earn them a top two place.
Surbiton began the weekend with a 9-2 thrashing of Reading, and started as they meant to go on, Steph Elliott opening the scoring in the first minute.
Maddie Long doubled Surbiton's lead in the seventh minute, but after Jennifer Crossley scored for Reading in the 14th minute, Long immediately responded to put Surbiton 3-1 ahead. Sarah Evans scored just before half time to leave Reading trailing 4-1 going into the second half.
Surbiton had to wait until the 28th minute for goal number five, courtesy of Izzy Petter before Crossley scored again for Reading two minutes into the fourth quarter.
Surbiton were then on fire with four goals in five minutes, Alice Sharp and Petter both scoring in the 35th minute, Elliott on target a minute later and Long completing both her hat-trick and the scoring with two minutes to play.
In their second match of the day, Surbiton faced Clifton Robinsons, who had been relegated with them in 2020 and had seen their own promotion hopes severely dented with a 7-1 loss to Sevenoaks.
Surbiton ran out 8-3 winners, leading 8-0 towards the end of the third quarter before Clifton Robinsons scored three late goals for a mini comeback.
There was no real indication of the goal fest to come at the end of the first quarter, when Surbiton led 1-0 thanks to Holly Payne's tenth minute goal.
Sophie Hamilton doubled Surbiton's lead in the 14th minute before Payne and Petter both struck in the 16th minute; Ella Burnley scoring Surbiton's fifth goal just before the interval.
In the third quarter, Hamilton, Petter and Sharp gave Surbiton a commanding 8-0 lead before Livvy Hoskins netted what was originally assumed to be a consolation with ten minutes to play.
Instead, Megan Crowson and Hoskins both scored in the fourth quarter to make the final score 8-3, but Clifton Robinsons' hopes of a swift return to the Premier Division evaporated.
Surbiton lead the way with 18 points, Sevenoaks are second with 15 points and Guildford are third on 15 points with Sevenoaks set to play Guildford in the third match of the day on Sunday.
By then, Surbiton can clinch promotion against Cambridge City, who are one of five teams who could end up in one of the relegation places, with two points separating fifth to ninth place.
More information about the Division One competition, including match sheets and other statistics can be found at the England Hockey Altius website here