England: England Hockey League 2023/24 Premier Division Weekend 15 Review

Reading ended Surbiton’s 16-game winning streak at home in superb fashion as they scored their first Women’s Premier Division goals at Sugden Road for 10 years.

Six Reading players got in on the act, including goals in the last nine minutes from former GB star Shona McCallin and current international Lizzie Neal, as they came from 3-1 down to claim a 6-3 victory. 

Their win was also the first time a team had claimed the league double over Surbiton since Buckingham in the 2017/18 season.

McCallin said: “It was a really positive result and performance by us. It was positive we got six different goal scorers which has been a feature for us this season and to have many people contributing shows the quality in depth within the team.”

“We now need to back it up in Phase 3 and the most important part of the season. We don’t want to have a successful three quarters of the season and then not be able to back it up.”

There was another high-scoring encounter as East Grinstead accrued a 7-2 win over University of Nottingham.

Bibba Mills scored a hat-trick, including two in four first-half minutes, and Sophie Bray netted twice as UoN lost their fourth match in a row and have now conceded 19 goals in their last three matches.

Hampstead & Westminster recorded a third win in four meetings over Bowdon following their tight 3-2 victory.

Bowdon garnered two second-half yellows and H&W made them pay. Madi Ratcliffe scored for the second weekend running in the 56th minute, and Rachel Greenwood netted from two penalty corner goals in the 59th and 64th minutes.

In the Lower Six, Loughborough Students recorded their first Premier Division win in Bristol with a 2-1 victory at Clifton Robinsons, Maddie Goodman scoring their second-half winner.

Isca & University of Exeter are now 10 points behind nearest rivals Beeston following the latter’s much-needed 2-0 win in Devon.

In turn, Beeston remain five points behind Loughborough Students in the second relegation place after Charlotte Watson scored twice in four minutes.

Meanwhile, University of Birmingham and Wimbledon played out a fourth successive draw after a 1-1 scoreline.

Becky Manton opened the scoring for the Londoners before Emma Allroggen’s goal was the first Wimbledon had conceded in 235 minutes.

*Stats supplied by Colin Pike

Oxted secured a place in Men’s Premier Division Finals after completing a battling league double for the first time over East Grinstead on Saturday night.

After prevailing 3-2 in September, Oxted won 3-1 to earn a ticket to the top eight and finish top of the Last Six table.

Jamie Batten, Chris Porter and Bradley Sherwood netted for Oxted, with Simon Faulkner picking a 65th minute penalty corner consolation goal.

Nick Giles, Oxted’s player coach, said: “With ourselves and EG being the local derby to end the phase on was really exciting. I’m pleased the team put together some of their best hockey in spells against a well-organised and attacking team and we came out the right side.

“It will be a big and exciting challenge to be in the top eight in the league. It’s a similar position we had from last year and it will now be a case of can we build on what we’ve done and the experience from last season to go one further.”

University of Nottingham netted a first Premier Division win over their local rivals Beeston, who had already secured a Premier Division finals place.

Beeston had won all three previous matches, but UoN proved a class act as they won only their second top flight game in 16 matches. Oliver Lander led the way with a double and Nottingham’s key win moved them above Reading in the race to avoid relegation. 

Cardiff & Met stay three points ahead of UoN after carving a telling 5-1 win over Reading, who now sit bottom.

Reading’s hapless home record saw them rack up an eighth defeat in a row. Charlie Hunte and Jack Pritchard both scored braces as Cardiff recorded their biggest Premier Division victory – and their third away from home.

In the final round of matches in the Top Six, Old Georgians finished six points ahead of Wimbledon after an authoritative 7-2 win over Wimbledon on Saturday.

With their 14th successive three pointer, they also ended Wimbledon’s own nine-game winning run.

James and Ed Carson both scored twice as OGs netted five times in the last 14 minutes to consign Wimbledon to their biggest Premier Division defeat since 2014.

Surbiton moved unbeaten in five visits at Hampstead & Westminster with a comfortable 3-0 win. Luke Taylor netted via a penalty stroke and corner either side of James Gall’s goal as H&W lost their fourth home match in their last five.

Meanwhile, Southgate’s 3-0 defeat to Holcombe was their sixth in a row ahead of the Premier Division Finals.

In only their second top flight meeting, Alex Pendle, Tim Guise-Brown and Louis Duprez secured the league double after their 5-2 win in September.

by England Hockeyl

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