Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division
Loughborough Students 2 Surbiton 3
Surbiton Ladies were given a scare before securing all three points against a feisty Loughborough Students squad playing their first match in the top flight since the 2000-01 season.
In front of an enthusiastic home crowd, Loughborough were unlucky not to earn at least a point against the league champions of the last six seasons, especially after coming back from 2-0 down to level at 2-2 before succumbing to a third quarter goal.
Loughborough began brightly with Hannah Grieve threatening from a sixth minute penalty corner, but Surbiton struck twice to gain the early ascendancy.
In the tenth minute, Giselle Ansley’s drag-flick was glove saved by Loughborough goalkeeper Miriam Pritchard, but only to the left post where Georgie Twigg scored with her stick above her shoulder.
Three minutes later, Susie Catlin ran along the Loughborough backline before crossing from the right for Alice Sharp to finish from short range.
With quarters being played for the first time, Loughborough struck towards the end of the first quarter, Izzy Petter slipping the ball under Surbiton goalkeeper, Sabbie Heesh to score against her former club on her Loughborough debut.
Beth Peers’ deflection in the 19th minute suddenly gave Surbiton something to think about as Loughborough levelled at 2-2 to go into the second half with hope of attaining a surprise result.
Surbiton’s Emily Defroand found the backboard in the 40th minute to score what proved to be the winning goal, but there was further drama to come when in the 51st minute, Loughborough missed a golden opportunity to equalise again, Lucy Millington slotting a penalty stroke past the right post.
Petter had come even closer in the 49th minute, Heesh having to be at her best to save a shot aimed for the top left corner. It was no surprise that both players were named as players of the match by their respective clubs.
Surbiton had to battle to survive in the fourth quarter, Loughborough forcing three penalty corners in a three minute spell with Surbiton finishing the match with nine players after both Holly Payne and Ansley were shown yellow cards in the penultimate minute.
Loughborough forced a last minute penalty corner, but although over recent seasons, Surbiton have lost at Buckingham and drawn at Holcombe after conceding in the last minute, Loughborough couldn’t convert, but should take heart from their performance.
Scorers: Izzy Petter 17-F, Beth Peers 19-F
Squad: Miriam Pritchard (GK); Ella Cusack (Capt.), Madeleine Pearce, Jen Park, Jane Kilpatrick, Izzy Petter, Hannah Grieve, Beth Peers, Lucy Milligton, Lizzie Neal, Iona Campbell.
Subs: Victoria McCabe (4 mins), Sophie Byrne (5), Anabelle Denly (5), Olivia Hamilton (7), Emily Peers (10).
Scorers: Georgie Twigg 10-PC, Alice Sharp 13-F, Emily Defroand 40-F
Squad: Sabbie Heesh (GK); Giselle Ansley, Sarah Evans (Capt.), Georgie Twigg, Hannah Martin, Erica Sanders, Susie Catlin, Holly Munro, Alice Sharp, Robyn Collins, Eloise Stenner.
Subs: Emily Defroand (5 mins), Holly Payne (7), Ella Burnley (7), Emily Guckian (9), Darcy Bourne (10).
Cards: Green: Sarah Evans (16 mins), Emily Defroand (67 mins). Yellow: Giselle Ansley (69 mins), Holly Payne (69 mins)
Match Official: Christine O’Donovan
Umpires: Holly Redpath and Emma Shelbourn