Surbiton’s women will top the regular season table following two wins over the weekend in the English league as they got the best of Clifton Robinsons and Beeston.
It ensures they will have some form of European spot in 2023/24 season as they continue their mastery over the game in England, a nice boost over a month out from their EHL campaign in the Wagener Stadium.
On Saturday, they left it late with Giselle Ansley getting the winner with four minutes to go from a penalty corner. Meg Dowthwaite put Surbiton ahead against Clifton but made life difficult and were level through Livvy Hoskins in Q3 before Ansley grabbed the winner.
It put the London club within range of the confirmed top spot going into the Sunday fixture against Beeston against whom they got the result to confirm a European spot.
Again, they did not have things all their own way as they fell behind in the eighth minute to a Hannah Grieve goal.
But four second half goals turned things around with Sophie Hamilton and Leah Wilkinson scoring to make it 2-1 and Izzy Petter extended the advantage to 3-1 with a third goal in a 10-minute spell. Hannah Martin completed the victory.
It is a nice boon for the club ahead of their EHL FINAL8 date where they will play Düsseldorfer HC.
In the English men’s competition, Old Georgians secured first place in the regular season on Saturday when they defeated Hampstead & Westminster 2-1 with Sam Ward netting a double.
They followed up with a 3-0 win over Holcombe on Sunday to add to their credentials as favourites to retain the national title by the time the finals weekend comes in early April.
There will be one more weekend of the second phase of the English league – the top six groups – from which each side will advance to the end of season playoff group phase.
They will be joined by the top two from the bottom six section, making eight teams still in the hunt for the national title. Those eight sides will be divided into two groups of four with the top two going on to the semi-finals.