Source: England Hockey

Vitality Women’s Hockey League (26 February)

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In the Vitality Women’s Hockey League ‘Top Six’, Darcy Bourne’s dazzling hat-trick fired Surbiton to an emphatic 6-0 victory over East Grinstead to extend their unbeaten record at the summit.

Premier Division

Darcy Bourne’s dazzling hat-trick fired Surbiton to an emphatic 6-0 victory over East Grinstead to extend their unbeaten record at the summit in the ‘Top 6’ of the Vitality Women’s Premier Division.

A super Saturday of action saw the division’s top two sides meet at Sugden Road and Bourne’s brilliant treble, bolstered by Sophie Hamilton’s double and Taz Cookman’s strike, saw Surbiton deliver a dominant statement of intent on home soil.

It took the resurgent hosts almost half an hour to break the deadlock before Hamilton’s goal from a penalty corner got the ball rolling in south west London.

And it didn’t take long for the table-toppers to turn the second-half screw, with Bourne and Hamilton netting twice in quick succession to intensify the hosts’ grip on the contest.

Bourne soon completed her hat-trick with a penalty corner and penalty stroke before Cookman ensured East Grinstead were hit for six in a seismic ‘Top 6’ clash.

That briefly extended Surbiton’s lead at the summit to four points while later in the day, Emily Douglas’ double helped propel Hampstead & Westminster to a pulsating 4-2 victory at Beeston.

Alice Huddlestone and Paige Gillott netted for the hosts but Douglas’ pair of strikes, coupled with Lauren Turner and Sarah Robertson’s goals, ensured Hampstead & Westminster capitalised on East Grinstead’s defeat to leapfrog them into second in the table and three points behind Surbiton.

Elsewhere on an entertaining Saturday of ‘Top 6’ action, Fiona Burnet’s brace helped Wimbledon battle to a hard-fought 2-1 triumph at Clifton Robinsons.

Phoebe Richards scored for the hosts but Wimbledon, who went down 1-0 to Surbiton last time out, held on to bounce back from that setback.

In the lower tier of the Vitality Women’s Premier Division, Charlotte Watson’s strike proved the difference as Loughborough Students beat Swansea 1-0.

And in the other game of the day, it was Buckingham who sprung a surprise at Holcombe as Jo Pinner’s brace meant the hosts were unable to put the pressure on high-flying University of Birmingham in their absence of a Saturday fixture.

Vitality Women’s Premier Division – ‘Top 6’

  • Beeston 2-4 Hampstead & Westminster
  • Clifton Robinsons 1-2 Wimbledon
  • Surbiton 6-0 East Grinstead

Vitality Women’s Premier Division

  • Holcombe 0-2 Buckingham
  • Swansea 0-1 Loughborough Students

Division One North

University of Nottingham powered to an emphatic 5-0 victory at Gloucester City to maintain their lead at the top of the table.

Jordan Homann netted twice for the East Midlands side as Gloucester City slipped to their third defeat on the spin.

Just behind the students at the Division One North summit, Jane Donnelly’s goal was the difference as Bowdon Hightown battled to a resilient 1-0 triumph over Leicester City.

That leaves them just a single point behind University of Nottingham while elsewhere, Durham University breezed past Olton & West Warwickshire 4-1.

They remain level on points with Stourport after their 6-1 win at Ben Rhydding, while Belper held Brooklands Poynton to a 2-2 draw at Trent College to pick up their third point of the season.

  • Belper 2-2 Brooklands Poynton
  • Ben Rhydding 1-6 Stourport
  • Bowdon Hightown 1-0 Leicester
  • Durham University 4-1 Olton & West Warwickshire
  • Gloucester City 0-5 University of Nottingham

Division One South

It’s hotting up at the top after Lizzie Gittens’ two goals catapulted Reading to an impressive 4-0 win at Cambridge City.

Mia Moore and Beth Marriott were also on the scoresheet as the Berkshire side extended their winning run.

And that meant they replaced Sevenoaks at the summit of the table as the pace-setters were held to a 1-1 draw by Surbiton 2s in the day’s late game.

Elsewhere, Isca soared to a 5-1 win at home against Harleston Magpies, while Slough remain third after a 2-1 win against bottom side Trojans.

And Canterbury beat Wimbledon 2s 1-0 to stay fourth in the division and recover from their recent run of two straight defeats.

  • Cambridge City 0-4 Reading
  • Isca 5-1 Harleston Magpies
  • Sevenoaks 1-1 Surbiton 2s
  • Slough 2-1 Trojans
  • Wimbledon 2s 0-1 Canterbury

Conference East

Barnes racked up their 12th win from 13 games as a 1-0 victory over Hampstead & Westminster 2s further outlined their superiority at the top of the table.

East London turned on the style to secure a stunning 8-2 win over Canterbury 2s, while Southgate remain in second after a fluent 4-0 win at Bromley & Beckenham.

Third-place London Wayfarers navigated their way to a 3-2 win at home to Ipswich, while Chelmsford and Horsham drew one apiece in Essex in one of the day’s mid-table clashes.

  • Barnes 1-0 Hampstead & Westminster 2s
  • Bromley & Beckenham 0-4 Southgate
  • Canterbury 2s 2-8 East London
  • Chelmsford 1-1 Horsham
  • London Wayfarers 3-2 Ipswich

Conference Midlands

Sutton Coldfield maintained their scintillating unbeaten streak with a 3-1 win over Beeston 2s at Wyndley Leisure Centre.

The West Midlands side have only failed to win on a single occasion this term and remain eight points clear at the top despite Bedford’s 5-0 win over Khalsa Leamington.

St Albans succumbed to a 4-1 defeat at Loughborough Students 2s, University of Birmingham 2s beat Oxford University 2-1 while Cannock and Broxbourne drew 1-1 and remain above Khalsa Leamington at the bottom of the table.

  • Bedford 5-0 Khalsa Leamington
  • Cannock 1-1 Broxbourne
  • Loughborough Students 2s 4-1 St Albans
  • Oxford University 1-2 University of Birmingham 2s
  • Sutton Coldfield 3-1 Beeston 2s

Conference North

It was a day for the home teams in the Conference North as no side playing away was able to muster anything better than a draw.

Table-toppers Leeds beat Timperley 2-1, while second-placed Didsbury Northern toppled struggling Neston 3-1 in the day’s early game.

Wakefield were held 2-2 at home by Durham University 2s but it was home wins for Doncaster and Alderley Edge as they beat Pendle Forest and Fylde to continue their solid seasons.

  • Alderley Edge 2-1 Fylde
  • Didsbury Northern 3-1 Neston
  • Doncaster 2-0 Pendle Forest
  • Leeds 2-1 Timperley
  • Wakefield 2-2 Durham University 2s

Conference West

A thrilling battle at the top of the Conference West is unfolding and those fireworks continued on another intriguing Saturday.

Witney, Exe, Oxford Hawks and Team Bath Buccaneers all won their matches as just three points separate the division’s top four sides.

That meant defeats for Cheltenham, Clifton Robinson 2s, University of Bristol and Basingstoke while in the day’s other game, Penarth won 2-0 at Bristol Firebrands to move to within just two points of their opponents in the table.

  • Basingstoke 1-4 Team Bath Buccaneers
  • Bristol Firebrands 0-2 Penarth
  • Exe 3-2 Clifton Robinsons
  • Oxford Hawks 8-0 University of Bristol
  • Witney 3-2 Cheltenham

With thanks to England Hockey