Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division
Surbiton 6 Bowdon Hightown 0
Surbiton Ladies opened up a three point lead over both Holcombe and East Grinstead following their 6-0 win over Bowdon Hightown and East Grinstead’s 2-1 win at Holcombe on Sunday. Surbiton are now the only unbeaten team in the IWHL Premier this season following Holcombe’s defeat.
Although the final margin of victory was decisive, Bowdon successfully frustrated Surbiton’s attack for most of the first half before suffering a double blow shortly before half time. Sian French, Kayleigh Maw, Charlene Mason and Julie Whiting all worked hard in defence intercepting and tackling.
Nevertheless, Erica Sanders and Jo Hunter combined to force a penalty corner in the eighth minute from which Giselle Ansley shot wide of goal. Catherine Thompson ran towards the Surbiton defence as Bowdon tried to snatch a goal and French was tackled by Emily Defroand in a subsequent attack. Mason saw a penalty corner shot saved by Surbiton goalkeeper, Grace O’Hanlon as Bowdon tried to build on their defensive performance.
Both Sanders and Susie Catlin had first half chances to score but fired wide, but it was Hunter who struck twice at the end of the first half to leave Bowdon trailing 2-0 at half time. Hunter fell to the ground with the effort of breaking the deadlock at the left post on the half hour and then sent the ball past Bowdon goalkeeper, Amanda Ferebee two minutes later. Bowdon had a chance to pull a goal back from a late penalty corner but Surbiton defended to keep their two goal advantage.
Surbiton extended their lead in the 44th minute with a trademark drag-flick from Ansley and then Phoebe Willars and Erica Sanders both scored their first goals in Surbiton shirts, Willars finishing off Surbiton’s third penalty corner in the 51st minute and Sanders scoring from open play a minute later to give Surbiton a commanding 5-0 lead.
Surbiton captain, Sarah Evans was a constant threat late in the second half and after running and shooting wide and then being tackled by Bowdon’s Rosie Bailey, Evans completed the scoring with four minutes remaining as Surbiton inflicted a 6-0 defeat over the Altrincham club for the third time, having won by the same scoreline in November 2014 and March 2017.
East Grinstead and Holcombe have identical records in joint second place and have a two point advantage over Beeston and Buckingham, Beeston having moved above Buckingham after a 2-1 away win on Sunday. The University of Birmingham stay sixth after conceding a last minute equaliser in a 1-1 home draw with Canterbury on Saturday.
Bowdon dropped to the bottom of the table after Slough came from behind to draw 1-1 at Clifton Robinsons on Sunday. Clifton stay seventh, Canterbury stay eighth and Slough move above Bowdon on a one goal better goal difference.
Scorers: Jo Hunter 30-F, 32-F; Giselle Ansley 44-PC, Phoebe Willars 51-PC, Erica Sanders 52-F, Sarah Evans 66-F
Squad: Grace O’Hanlon (GK); Giselle Ansley, Sarah Evans (Capt.), Hannah Martin, Holly Payne, Emily Atkinson, Emily Defroand, Erica Sanders, Susie Catlin, Alice Sharp, Robyn Collins.
Subs: Jo Hunter (6 mins), Georgie Twigg (7), Ella Burnley (9), Olivia Chilton (9), Phoebe Willars (17).
Squad: Rosie Bailey, Kayleigh Maw (Capt.), Catherine Thompson, Jane Donnelly, Alex Shaw, Lucy Tennant, Charlene Mason, Tilly Dyos-Szolkowska, Sian French, Julie Whiting, Amanda Ferebee (GK),
Subs: Maddie Goodman (10 mins), Holly Nixon (18). Sub not used: Megan Batchelor.
Card: Green: Rosie Bailey (56 mins).
Match Official: Jo Pennycook
Umpires: Clare White and Rebecca Woodcock
Colin Pike | Tim Redder