On Saturday, Surbiton beat Brooklands Poynton 4-1 and Olton & West Warwicks 9-1; then on Sunday beat Horsham 4-2 and Wakefield 9-1 to lift the Division One title in style.
Surbiton struggled to find their rhythm at the start of the Brooklands Poynton clash, trailing 1-0 at half time, Jess Berry scoring in the fifth minute. With ten minutes to play, Surbiton’s one hundred per cent record was under threat, but Harriet Tibble struck twice in the 31st and 32nd minutes from a penalty corner and open play respectively to turn the match around. Further goals from Sarah Page in the 36th minute and Rebecca Herbert in the penultimate minute earned Surbiton a 4-1 victory.
In the second match of the day against Olton, both sides were frustrated by the post, Herbert hitting the left post with a seventh minute penalty stroke, and then denied again from open play six minutes later. Olton had threatened to take a shock lead in the fifth minute, but this time the right post intervened.
Surbiton had to wait until the 16th minute to eventually take the lead as Jo Hunter scored her maiden indoor goal for the club, with Giselle Ansley doubling the lead three minutes later from a penalty corner and captain, Sarah Haycroft adding a third goal just before the interval.
Olton scored within seconds of the restart through their captain, Katie Brough, before Tibble restored Surbiton’s three goal lead in the 25th minute. Starting in the 33rd minute, Olton were stunned as Surbiton breached their defence five times in four minutes to run out convincing winners. Georgie Twigg scored in the 33rd and 35th minutes, either side of Page’s 34th minute strike; Tibble converted a penalty corner for her second goal of the game, before Hunter completed the rout with three minutes remaining.
On Sunday, Surbiton were made to battle by a determined Horsham team. Surbiton created chances but failed to convert, with Horsham taking the lead in the sixth minute through Becky Williams. Page levelled for Surbiton four minutes later, before giving Surbiton the lead in the twelfth minute. The lead lasted seconds as Williams once more found a way through the Surbiton defence to level the score at 2-2, Horsham unlucky to trail 3-2 at half time, Tibble once again successful from a penalty corner just before the break. Fifteen seconds into the second half, Twigg scored Surbiton’s 200th indoor goal, to complete the scoring.
Surbiton clinched the championship with another convincing win against Wakefield. Natalie Maclean opened the scoring in the third minute, but Surbiton were caught out three minutes later when Hannah Norman pounced from short range within seconds of coming on as a substitute. Twigg restored the lead in the 13th minute, with Page giving Surbiton a 3-1 lead two minutes before half time.
Yet again, Surbiton dominated in the second half, adding a further six goals in the last ten minutes. Tibble scored in the 30th and 39th minutes, Ansley struck twice in the 32nd minute, Twigg scored again in the 34th minute, with Hunter having the final word in the last minute.
Tibble and Twigg were joint top scorers for Surbiton with eleven goals apiece, well supported by Page with ten. With every outfield player scoring at some point of the tournament, and coaches Dave Beckett and Mark Atherton guiding their charges to the title, Surbiton were well deserved champions. Goalkeeper Vicky Hewett worked hard with her defence, including Hannah Coulson, to ensure that Surbiton had the best defensive record, conceding 13 goals, whilst their attack was also the most prolific, with 52 goals, ten more than the next high-scoring team, Buckingham (42 goals).
Surbiton Ladies – 2014-15 Hockey 5s Championships Division One Champions:
L-R: Colin Pike (Manager), Hannah Coulson, Harriet Tibble, Georgie Twigg, Giselle Ansley, Jo Hunter, Sarah Haycroft (Captain), Sarah Page, Rebecca Herbert, Natalie Maclean, Vicky Hewett, Mark Atherton (Coach).
Leicester were promoted back to the Premier Division after finishing second with twenty-one points, winning 7-5 against Olton & West Warwicks in their final match. Bristol Firebrands finished third two points ahead of Buckingham, who were held to a 5-5 draw in their final match with Brooklands Poynton.
Wakefield won a six pointer clash with Horsham, 4-1 to send the West Sussex club back to Division Two, together with Ipswich, who were also promoted last season. Brooklands Poynton finished fifth, Wakefield sixth, and Olton & West Warwicks, who were relegated from the Premier Division last season, avoided a second successive relegation by a point.