Surbiton’s double-act off to winning start in England

England’s double champions Surbiton got off to a winning start with both their women and men’s teams producing impressive opening day wins in their national league. 

Two goals from GB under-23’s Lottie Ross helped the women to a 3-0 victory over Buckingham. Crowned champions for the seventh consecutive time last season, Surbiton took the lead through Eloise Stenner from a penalty corner in the 33rd minute. 

Ross, making her return to Surbiton after a stint with Beeston and the University of Nottingham, bagged her first goal 11 minutes later and sealed victory with just a minute left on the clock. 

Elsewhere, two promoted clubs clashed as Division One South champions Wimbledon showed their firepower with a 4-0 defeat of Swansea. 

Last season’s runners-up East Grinstead have made comparatively few changes to their squad over the summer, and it was familiar faces Tess Howard and Sophie Bray who scored their goals as they beat Clifton Robinsons 2-1 away from home. 

Finishing just two points behind East Grinstead last season, Hampstead & Westminster were 2-0 winners at Beeston with second half goals from Holly Hunt and Lucy Hyams steering them to victory. 

Holcombe hosted Loughborough Students in the day’s final game and it was a closely-fought match with Izzy Petter’s 14th minute field proving enough to give the Students victory. 

In the men’s competition, reigning champions Surbiton kicked off their campaign in emphatic style with an 8-1 victory over Brooklands MU. 

England and GB international Luke Taylor stole the show, scoring five penalty corners, while other goals came from Ben Boon, Arjan Drayton Chana and Rob Farrington. Peter Flanagan scored Brooklands MU’s only goal. 

The University of Exeter played last season’s runners-up Hampstead & Westminster in an action-packed game which saw the visitors come away 5-3 victors. 

Sam French and Charlie Taylor traded early goals to make it 1-1, but Hampstead & Westminster took the lead with Hywel Jones scoring on 21 minutes. Matt Guise Brown added goals on 25 and 32 minutes, while James Oates’ 29th minute strike gave then a 5-1 advantage. 

The University of Exeter pulled one back on 50 minutes through a Duncan Scott penalty stroke, and Max Sydenham made it 5-3 on 56 minutes, but there was to be no comeback.