Report: Colin Pike
19 October 2019
Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division
Holcombe 3 Surbiton 4
Missing several internationals due to the upcoming Olympic Qualifiers, Surbiton came away from Holcombe Park with all three points to remain two points clear of Hampstead & Westminster at the top of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.
Hampstead had gone top temporarily following their 1-0 win at Loughbrough Students and after nine minutes in Kent, their prospects of staying there were given a boost when Lorna Jane Cruickshank put Holcombe ahead following sustained pressure on the Surbiton defence.
However, two minutes later, Surbiton were back on level terms after Robyn Collins converted the visitors’ first penalty corner. On the quarter-hour, Erica Sanders found the backboard from close range to put Surbiton ahead for the first time, but again the lead was short lived, Holcombe equalising from the penalty spot when Steph Elliott slotted the ball past Sabbie Heesh in the 19th minute.
Six minutes before half time, Surbiton’s lead was restored, also from a penalty stroke, awarded following Surbiton’s fifth penalty corner. Georgie Twigg used all her experience to beat Rose Thomas and give the visitors a 3-2 lead at the interval, although Candice Manuel’s angled shot late in the first half came close to salvaging a second equalising goal for Holcombe.
The scoring slowed down in the second half, Jenna Woolven crossing from the right for Eloise Stenner to poke home in the 43rd minute to extend Surbiton’s lead to 4-2. Holcombe came close to levelling after Philippa Lewis found herself in a one on one situation with Heesh and scored in the 59th minute and then minutes later just failed to repeat, her shot fired wide to the disappointment of the home supporters.
The game started cagily and finished in attacking open mode with Surbiton forced to carry the ball to the corners of the Holcombe 23 in order to run out the clock and preserve the win.
Youngster Maddle Long made an impressive first team debut in Surbiton colours, battling with Holcombe’s Alice Wills and generally feeling at home in the top flight.
Third placed Buckingham lost ground with a 2-1 defeat at Beeston. In spite of their defeat, Holcombe moved back above the University of Birmingham on goals scored, East Grinstead winning their first game of the season, 2-1 at home to Birmingham. Clifton Robinsons won 3-2 at Bowdon Hightown, Bowdon dropping to the bottom of the table after having three points deducted due to a registration error.
Scorers: Lorna Jane Cruickshank 9-F, Steph Elliott 19-PS, Philippa Lewis 59-F
Squad: Rose Thomas (GK); Candice Manuel, Jo Westwood, Heather McEwan, Emma Trunks, Lorna Jane Cruickshank, Alice Wills, Philippa Lewis, Beth Bingham, Steph Elliott (Capt.), Issy Davison.
Subs: Charlotte Daly (7 mins), Olivia Wilde (7), Izzy Shelley (7), Harriet Pittard (11).
Cards: Green: Heather McEwan (36 mins), Candice Manuel (48 mins). Yellow: Jo Westwood (45 mins).
Scorers: Robyn Collins 11-PC, Erica Sanders 15-F, Georgie Twigg 29-PS, Eloise Stenner 43-F
Squad: Sabbie Heesh (GK); Georgie Twigg (Capt.), Emily Atkinson, Ella Burnley, Emily Defroand, Erica Sanders, Susie Catlin, Holly Munro, Robyn Collins, Eloise Stenner, Emily Guckian.
Subs: Jenna Woolven (8 mins), Maddie Long (8), Darcy Bourne (10).
Match Official: Janet Sutton
Umpires: David Howell and Rebecca Woodcock