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W2 Lead Barnes By Eight Points After 2-1 Home Victory


31st January 2024

By Colin Pike

Surbiton Women's Second Team extended their lead in the Women's Hockey League Division One South to eight points after a come from behind 2-1 win over second-placed Barnes at Sugden Road on Wednesday night.

Surbiton were playing their first league match in 2024, whereas Barnes had beaten Wimbledon's second team 4-3 at home on 22 January. Surbiton's one hundred per cent record and unbeaten record were both under threat going into the fourth quarter as Barnes led 1-0, but two goals in the final period turned the match around and ensured both records were kept intact.

The first attempt to play the match in November had ended in the second quarter after Barnes were awarded a penalty corner which they were unable to take following a decision to abandon the goalless match due to a rapidly freezing pitch.

Ironically in the restaging, Barnes took the lead from a penalty corner in the 22nd minute, Lara Tegner finishing off a manoeuvred routine to give the Dukes Meadow club hope of reducing the deficit at the top of the table to two points.

Defences had generally been on top with both teams showing attacking intent with runs towards goal before an opposing defender took charge and both teams also made unforced errors in the first half which ended with Barnes on target to take all three points.

Surbiton tried to catch Barnes out at the start of the third quarter with Hannah Denison finding Tilly Gibson before visiting goalkeeper Katie Martin-Fagg intervened and won a free hit for her side, only for Surbiton to immediately mount another attack which saw Issy Yonge shoot past the left post.

Surbiton still trailed going into the fourth quarter, but this time, Barnes were caught out at the start of the quarter, Gibson putting away a rebound after the visitors struggled to clear, Gibson jumping up and down in excitement having levelled the score at 1-1.

Barnes had three chances to retake the lead from penalty corners between the 59th and 62nd minutes, Surbiton clearing the first and winning a free hit from the third to ease the pressure.

With six minutes to play, Gibson struck again from short range to give Surbiton the lead for the first time and leave Barnes wondering how they were trailing having led at the start of the quarter.

Barnes couldn't find an equaliser and Surbiton head to Holcombe on Saturday with an eight point lead over Barnes and an eleven point lead over Holcombe, although the Kent club have a game in hand and face a home double header over the weekend as they host Southgate on Sunday.

With Surbiton unable to earn promotion due to second teams not being allowed in the Premier Division, added to the rule that no club can have two teams in the same national league division, the promotion race now sees Barnes on 22 points from ten games and Holcombe on 19 points from nine games. Barnes are at home to Team Bath Buccaneers on Saturday.