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L1 Win 6-1 At Buckingham


15th October 2022

By Colin Pike

Surbiton Ladies extended their lead at the top of the Vitality Women's Hockey League Premier Division to three points after winning 6-1 at Buckingham whilst nearest rivals Beeston and Wimbledon both dropped points.

Wimbledon were held to a 2-2 draw at the University of Birmingham and Beeston lost 3-0 at Clifton Robinsons, who are now Surbiton's nearest challengers.

On a changeable weather day at Stowe School, Jess Dyson had a special reason to celebrate her 18th birthday by scoring on her debut to put Surbiton ahead in the second quarter.

And in the third quarter, Jenny O'Grady, who had made her Surbiton first team debut against Beeston back in February, also scored to help a depleted 14 player squad return from Buckinghamshire with all three points.

The game started under overcast skies with blue skies still visible and by the end of the first quarter, Surbiton should have been well ahead, but their inability to finish and Buckingham's determination to defend left the teams level at 0-0 after a hectic period of play.

Buckingham could even have stolen a lead after two late penalty corner awards, Megan-Lewis Williams unable to convert, with the second resulting in the ball crossing the goal just before the first interval whistle was blown.

Home goalkeeper, Nicole Marks saved from Sophie Hamilton and Darcy Bourne fired past the right post, with Lauren Thomas, Lewis-Williams and Zoe James Carter all needed in Buckingham's defence. 

The most frustration came from Surbiton's first penalty corner in the twelfth minute, Giselle Ansley, Alice Wills and Leah Wilkinson all having chances to convert but denied by the defence and Marks as Surbiton began to wonder how they were going to make a breakthrough.

The answer came in the 21st minute when Dyson, who was far from fazed on debut, ran towards goal before beating Marks with a shot rebounding off the backboard to put Surbiton ahead.

Two minutes later, Buckingham were in double trouble as Izzy Petter also beat Marks from open play as Surbiton finally managed to unlock the home defence and put the ball into goal.

Three minutes before half time, Wills put away Hamilton's cross from the right to give the visitors a comfortable three goal advantage at the interval after a very productive second quarter.

There had been a brief drizzle episode near the start of the second quarter. A heavier rain shower appeared during the half time break, but a more sustained burst of heavy rain didn't spoil O'Grady's feat of scoring her maiden first team goal in the 45th minute to give Surbiton a 4-0 lead.

Surbiton's defence was finally breached for the first time in the 2022-23 season after 268 minutes, Maddy Newlyn scoring a quality goal to beat Sabbie Heesh and score what proved to be a consolation goal in the 58th minute, reducing Buckingham's deficit to 4-1.

Hamilton scored Surbiton's fifth in the 63rd minute and with three minutes remaining, Steph Elliott converted Surbiton's fourth penalty corner, followed by her trademark celebration to complete a comprehensive 6-1 victory and the visitors' biggest ever Premier Division margin at Stowe School. The previous highest was 5-2 on their previous visit in February 2020.

Surbiton and Clifton Robinsons were the only teams to win in the Premier Division on a day when four games were drawn. In addition to the University of Birmingham v Wimbledon stalemate, the University of Nottingham drew 4-4 at home to Loughborough Students; Reading and Holcombe drew 0-0 and Hampstead & Westminster drew 2-2 with East Grinstead.

Surbiton travel to Raynes Park High School next Saturday (22 October) to play Wimbledon. Last season both matches at Sugden Road were drawn 1-1, but Surbiton won 1-0 in Raynes Park.