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W1 Are Second After 3-1 Home Win Over Hampstead


7th October 2023

By Colin Pike

Surbiton Women moved up to second in the Vitality Women's Hockey League Premier Division following their 3-1 home win over Hampstead & Westminster at Sugden Road on Saturday afternoon.

Leaders, Clifton Robinsons drew 2-2 at home to the University of Birmingham, to drop to third, whilst second placed Reading lost 4-3 at the University of Nottingham and are now fourth.

Bowdon are the new leaders, one point ahead of Surbiton after their 3-0 win at Loughborough Students.

The match was umpire David Howell's 500th National League appointment on an unseasonably warm October day.

Sophie Hamilton's through pass set up a one on one situation for Hannah French in the third minute, but Hampstead goalkeeper, Miriam Pritchard made an important save to keep the game goalless.

The breakthrough came in the 19th minute when Holly Payne's pass found Hamilton halfway between the halfway line and the 23 metre area before an excellent run into the 23 and onward into the circle was emphatically finished with the ball rebounding off the backboard to complete a fantastic individual goal.

Surbiton tried to follow up with a series of penalty corners, but in spite of Lily Owsley being banished to the halfway line for breaking early, Pritchard denied Amy Costello with Meg Dowthwaite in close proximity before a manoeuvred routine from the third award ended in a Hampstead free hit.

An excellent passing move in the 29th minute led to Surbiton's second goal. Eloise Stenner brought the ball out of defence before passing to Izzy Petter, whose final pass to French was dispatched against the backboard in clinical fashion to the delight of the home supporters.

French was on target again in the 42nd minute, but this time from a penalty corner, guiding Stenner's drag-flick past Pritchard to give Surbiton a solid three goal lead.

French also scored two goals of the third week running having scored at in the 6-1 win at home to Isca & University of Exeter and both goals in last weekend's 2-0 victory at the University of Birmingham.

Hampstead battled, forcing four penalty corners in the final six minutes of the third quarter. Surbiton defended the first two even though Hampstead tried to force the ball in at the right post, but the visitors were rewarded from the fourth, Madi Ratcliffe ending Sabbie Heesh's hopes of a second successive clean sheet with the last play of the quarter.

Both teams attacked in the final quarter with Hamilton and Alice Wills battling with Emily Rowlands and Amy Elliott competing with Steph Elliott, but neither side could find the net as Surbiton kept up their consistent winning record against Hampstead in the Premier Division and after Rhodri Furlong had the family bragging rights last weekend after Holcombe Men's victory is was Sophie Hamilton's turn over sister Olivia on this occasion.

Surbiton travel to Loughborough Students next Saturday (14 October) push back 2 pm.

Katie Alexander, Catriona Booth and Sian French helped Bowdon to their 3-0 win at Loughborough and top spot. 

Clifton Robinsons were denied victory at home to the University of Birmingham by Carter Ayars' last minute penalty corner conversion. Clifton had come from behind after Coca Hall opened the scoring in the second minute, Evie Grindal and Sarah-Jayne Thorbourn turning the match around.

Jordan Homann scored a hat-trick with Maddie Long also scoring for the University of Nottingham as they beat Reading 4-3. Sophia Clark, Katie Robertson and Mia Moore scored for Reading but it wasn't quite enough.

Tess Howard's brace for East Grinstead couldn't prevent the West Sussex club going down to a third defeat this season as they lost 3-2 at Wimbledon. Becky Manton scored twice with Harriet Naismith also netting with Wimbledon's goals all coming from penalty corners.

Isca & University of Exeter won their first-ever Premier Division match with a 2-0 victory over Beeston in Devon. Georgie Gardens and Amelie Allen scored in the first half to make history.

In Division One South, Surbiton W2 won 4-2 at Southgate. Amie Hunt scored twice for Surbiton supported by Hannah Denison and Harriet Bisdee, whilst Emma Postings and Jess Denniff replied for Southgate. 

As with the M1 game at Southgate, the W2 match can be watched via the Southgate Hockey Club channel on You Tube here