Holcombe Crowned League Champions As Surbiton End in Style at Bowdon

Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division

Bowdon Hightown 0 Surbiton 4

Surbiton missed out on top spot in the final Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division table of the season, their emphatic 4-0 win at Bowdon Hightown leaving them three points short of Holcombe, 1-0 winners at Canterbury.

Whilst Holcombe have secured a minimum of qualification as England’s second ranked European team, Surbiton will need to win the playoffs if they want to play in the top tier EuroHockey Club Cup for the sixth successive year in 2020 as the top ranked team.

Bowdon Hightown gave a debut to 15 year-old Ericka Morris-Adams.

Without their international players on duty in the USA, Surbiton’s fourteen player squad did more than enough to keep the pressure on Holcombe until the last moment. Izzy Petter gave Surbiton a fourth minute lead from open play following a combination attacking move involving Holly Payne and Michaela Curtis.

Having made an early breakthrough, Surbiton had to settle for the one goal advantage at half time, Jenna Woolven shooting past the left post and having a shot saved well by Bowdon goalkeeper, Amanda Ferebee. Lucy Tennant blocked Emily Atkinson’s shot from Surbiton’s only penalty corner of the first half, whilst Julie Whiting, Bowdon captain, Sian French, Jane Donnelly and Alex Shaw were all needed to work hard in defence to frustrate Surbiton’s attacking intentions.

Youngster Emily Guckian was unlucky with a reverse stick shot which went wide of the right post on the quarter hour.

The key to unlocking Bowdon’s defence in the second half was ultimately a combination of Susie Catlin and Woolven working together in harmony. In the 41st minute, Woolven was on hand to deflect Catlin’s shot at the right post to double Surbiton’s lead and then in the 55th minute, Woolven finished at the left post from Catlin’s assist to all but clinch the victory.

At the end of the game, Robyn Collins’ shot from Surbiton’s third penalty corner was saved with Alice Sharp putting home the rebound from the left of the circle, but a penalty stroke had already been awarded, Georgie Twigg slotting the ball past Ferebee in added on time, to join Woolven as Surbiton’s leading league goalscorer for the season with seven goals.

Heather McEwan’s goal eight minutes from time was enough for a 1-0 victory at Canterbury as Holcombe finished top of the Premier Division table for the first time in their history.

Holcombe will face Buckingham, 3-2 winners at Slough after trailing 2-1 with four minutes remaining. Surbiton take on East Grinstead who also won 3-2 away, at Clifton Robinsons where Sophie Bray scored yet another hat-trick to catch Clifton’s Claire Thomas and finish as joint leading divisional scorer with 18 goals.

Slough will meet Hampstead & Westminster, Stourport and Loughborough Students in the Promotion Tournament after their defeat to Buckingham, combined with the University of Birmingham’s 2-1 home win over Beeston ensured the students’ safety.

Bowdon Hightown

Scorer: None

Squad: Rosie Bailey, Jane Donnelly, Alex Shaw, Lucy Tennant, Áine Curran, Hannah MacDonald, Sian French (Capt.), Charlene Mason, Julie Whiting, Megan Batchelor, Amanda Ferebee (GK).

 Subs: Tilly Dyos-Szolkowska (7 mins), Maddie Goodman (7), Holly Nixon (15), Ericka Morris-Adams (23 mins).  Sub not used: Kayleigh Maw.

 Cards: None

 Surbiton:

Scorers: Izzy Petter 4-F, Jenna Woolven 41-F, 55-F; Georgie Twigg 70+-PS

 Squad: Grace O’Hanlon (GK); Georgie Twigg (Capt.), Holly Payne, Emily Atkinson, Ella Burnley, Susie Catlin, Jenna Woolven, Alice Sharp, Izzy Petter, Robyn Collins, Michaela Curtis.

 Subs: Olivia Chilton (6 mins), Alice Klugman (8), Emily Guckian (10).

 Cards: None

 Match Official: Stephen Catton

Umpires: Gill Lord and Janice Tasho

Colin Pike - Surbiton HC
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