L1 In Mix For Super 6s Finals Day Qualification
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Ladies are in the mix to qualify for the Super 6s Finals Day for the first time in their history after mixed results on Day 3 of the Premier Division qualifier at Repton School on Saturday.
A 4-1 defeat to Buckingham and a 3-1 win over Leicester sees Surbiton go into the final day in fifth place on ten points, just behind Bowdon on goal difference, three points behind third place Buckingham. Surbiton play Bowdon on Sunday at 1 pm and with Buckingham having their last two fixtures against leaders East Grinstead and second placed Repton, even one victory against either Bowdon or Slough could see Surbiton make history after being promoted from Division One last season.
Surbiton could even have been in a better position as they took the lead against Buckingham in their first match, Lilie Lamacraft scoring in the seventh minute. Tilly Crampsie equalised just before half time, but after a goalless third quarter, Buckingham struck three times in the fourth quarter to end another competitive Surbiton performance.
Caroline Spence put Buckingham in front for the first time just seconds after the start of the fourth quarter with Crampsie extending Buckingham's lead to 3-1 in the 36th minute and Spence putting the icing on the cake with Buckingham's fourth goal in the penultimate minute, all the goals coming from open play.
Against relegation threatened Leicester City, Ella Burnley, who joined the squad for week 2 along with Ella Cashman and goalkeeper, Louisa Bray, scored twice in the fourth minute from a penalty corner and open play to leave the East Midlanders reeling. However, Surbiton couldn't build on the double strike until the 32nd minute when Alice Sharp added Surbiton's third goal.
Leicester have struggled to score this season, but Laura Khan scored their eleventh goal of the competition from open play with five minutes remaining to make the final score 3-1.
Leicester are joined in the relegation battle by Sutton Coldfield and Sevenoaks with two of the three teams likely to go down to Division One. By a quirk of the fixtures, the three teams play a mini round-robin on Sunday with Leicester facing Sevenoaks at 11 am, Sevenoaks playing Sutton Coldfield at 2 pm and Sutton Coldfield meeting Leicester in the very last Premier Division fixture at 5 pm. Sutton Coldfield are on two points, Sevenoaks on one point and Leicester trying to break their duck in a desperate attempt to avoid the drop.
More information about the Premier Division can be found at the England Hockey Altius website via this link
The race for promotion from Division One is equally tight with the top three teams all level on 13 points and fourth placed Guildford just a point behind. Knole Park lead Reading and Harleston Magpies on goal difference with the two key Sunday clashes likely to be Knole Park v Harleston Magpies at 2 pm and Guildford v Reading at 4 pm.
At the bottom of the table, Clifton Robinsons are all but relegated to Division 2 after garnering a single point from six games. Cambridge City are also in the relegation zone on four points with Wimbledon on six points and Holcombe on seven.
Clifton Robinsons have two key clashes against Holcombe at 9 am and Cambridge City at 12 noon. Wimbledon have the toughest run-in with meetings against joint leaders Harleston Magpies at 11 am and Knole Park in the last game at 5 pm.
Division 2 resumes next weekend when the six teams who qualified from Division 2 North and South meet with the aim of finishing in the top two and winning promotion to Division One.