Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division
Surbiton 0 Slough 0
The battle to finish top of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division will not be decided until the final weekend, but reigning champions Surbiton will need to win at Bowdon Hightown and leaders Holcombe to lose at relegated Canterbury after Surbiton were held to a goalless draw by Slough at Sugden Road to fall three points behind Holcombe.
Holcombe won 4-2 at home to Clifton Robinsons to boost their chances of finishing top of the Premier Division table for the first time in their history.
Surbiton fielded three of their seven internationals winging their way to the USA and Argentina for the next round of FIH Pro League matches and struggled to breakdown a Slough defence which has now kept clean sheets in their last three matches, but still faces the prospect of the Promotion Tournament after rivals, the University of Birmingham won 5-4 at Buckingham.
Slough drew 0-0 for the second successive week after being held themselves at home by Beeston and their inability to score to back up their defence may yet cost them their place in the top flight as they trail Birmingham by two points.
Surbiton goalkeeper, Sabbie Heesh made one save as the hosts dominated possession but the closest they came to breaking the deadlock was when Darcy Bourne’s angled shot from the right of the circle whistled past the left post and Giselle Ansley’s drag-flick clipped the right post from one of Surbiton’s nine penalty corners.
It was the first time in four years that Surbiton had drawn 0-0 at home, having drawn with Holcombe on the last day of the 2014-15 season, a season which had also opened with a goalless draw when Reading were the visitors and the first 0-0 draw since November 2017 when they returned from Bowdon Hightown with a point.
East Grinstead joined Holcombe and Surbiton in the playoffs with a convincing 4-0 home win over Bowdon Hightown. The fourth and final place is between Buckingham and Clifton Robinsons, with Buckingham favourites carrying a three point lead and a four better goal difference than their Bristol based rivals. Buckingham visit Slough and Clifton Robinsons are at home to East Grinstead. The University of Birmingham finish the season at home to Beeston on a weekend when all fixtures start at 2 pm.
Canterbury’s relegation after 20 years in the Premier Division was finally confirmed as they lost 2-1 at Beeston.
Squad: Sabbie Heesh (GK); Holly Payne, Emily Atkinson, Ella Burnley, Olivia Chilton, Susie Catlin, Jenna Woolven, Alice Sharp, Izzy Petter, Robyn Collins, Michaela Curtis
Subs: Sarah Evans (Capt.), (6 mins), Darcy Bourne (6), Emily Guckian (10), Giselle Ansley (13), Peggy Winterborn (16).
Cards: Green: Emily Atkinson (45 mins), Holly Payne (48 mins), Susie Catlin (52 mins)
Squad: Asha Tranquille-Day (GK); Imogen Brown, Harriet Ward, Lucy Wood, Louise Bevan, Lizzy Totten, Katie Jurdon, Laura Bailey, Flora Walker, Kathryn McGonigle (Capt.), Philipa Newton.
Subs: Kitty Baccanello (7 mins), Camila Diaz-Guzmán (7), Avneet Dhandwhar (20).
Subs not used: Nicole Marks (GK); Bryna Holmes.
Match Official: James Boylan
Umpires: Gill Lord and Clare White