League Finalists Decided

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Surbiton are in with a chance of securing a third straight League Finals double with both teams easing their way into the last two.

However they face stern opposition in Hampstead & Westminster’s men and Holcombe’s women, with both sides keen to overturn last year’s losses to the south-west London outfit.

Men’s semi-final action:

Surbiton were first to secure their place in Sunday’s final after defeating East Grinstead 2-1 before Hampstead & Westminster went on to beat Beeston by the same scoreline.

Both sides went close early on in the opening encounter but Surbiton were the more dangerous side and penalty corner goals from James Royce and Luke Taylor gifted them a 2-0 lead going into half-time.

In a very competitive second-half, Liam Ansell fired one back for East Grinstead with a well worked field goal to close the scores.

East Grinstead battled hard in search of an equaliser with time running out but, despite a succession of corners, were unable to find a way through.

After a goalless first-half, the final men’s match between Hampstead & Westminster and Beeston finished spectacularly.

Rupert Shipperley finished a smart team move to give Hampstead & Westminster the lead before Beeston struck back just one minute later through Joe Sharp.

However, the game was settled by a moment of magic from Will Calnan who hammered home with a wonderful strike inside the last ten minutes to send Hampstead & Westminster into Sunday’s final.

Investec Women’s semi-final action:

Holcombe secured their place in a third consecutive final with a crushing 6-0 victory over Buckingham whilst Surbiton kept their chances of a sixth straight title alive by defeating East Grinstead 4-1.

Holcombe’s comfortable win began when Candice Manuel slotted home from a penalty corner inside the first-half.

A minute after Rose Thomas made a crucial save, Dirkie Chamberlain scored with a sublime finish before Sofia Viarengo and Philippa Lewis joined the act for a four goal lead as Holcombe plundered three goals in two minutes.

The goals kept of coming as Leah Wilkinson and Heather McEwan both found the target on their way to the final.

Izzy Petter and Erica Sanders both hit sublime reverse stick goals as Surbiton took an early lead over East Grinstead in the final game of the day.

Sophie Bray pulled one back immediately after the restart to get East Grinstead back in the game and they were nearly level but Ellie Rayer fired her shot narrowly wide.

An important Sabbie Heesh save followed, denying Bray from adding another, before Surbiton got back on the offense and notched a quick double as both notched their second goals.

Round Two of play-offs action

The University of Exeter got Saturday’s Men’s Play-Off Round Two action underway with a 4-2 victory over Havant while Old Georgians beat Bowdon 6-3.

Meanwhile Slough toppled Stourport 5-1 whilst Hampstead & Westminster beat the University of Loughborough 1-0 in the Investec Women’s Play-Offs.

Men’s Play-Offs action:

The University of Exeter led 2-0 at half-time thanks to goals from Dan Jackson and James Thomas before James Carson added to the total from a penalty corner and Thomas secured his brace shortly after the restart to go four goals ahead.

Havant scored two goals in quick succession late on through Michael Deller-Merricks and Atiq Arshad but it would prove to only be a consolation.

Old Georgians then clinically defeated Bowdon 6-3 with Sam Ward hitting a first-half brace alongside Nick Burns and Matthew Ming for a 4-1 half-time lead.

Bowdon’s Ben White twice found the net to put his side within touching distance but hopes of a comeback were ended as Ward secured his hattrick before Nick Cooper added another immediately after.

Going into Sunday’s all-important final round of matches, Old Georgians lead the way on six points with both the University of Exeter and Havant sat on three, whilst Bowdon are the only yet to pick up a point.

Investec Women’s Play-Offs action:

Slough began Saturday’s Investec Women’s Play-Off Round Two action with a 5-1 victory over Stourport whilst Hampstead & Westminster overcame the University of Loughborough 1-0 in a tough match.

After going into the half-time break one goal to the good up thanks to Lucy Wood, Slough emphatically earned their second win of the Investec Women’s Play-Offs.

Bethan Merriman had brought Stourport level just two minutes after the break but Slough quickly responded with three goals inside five minutes from Dilly Newton, Imogen Brown and Lizzie Totten. Emma O’Nien capped off the scoring with a late goal for Slough’s fifth.

Courtesy of England Hockey