Women's Hockey 5s: The Road to Wembley

Bray and Davis celebrate at Hockey 5s 2015

East Grinstead and Bowdon Hightown will face each other in the final of the Women’s Hockey 5s this Sunday at The SSE Arena, Wembley. We take a look at how each of the teams made it this far.

Bowdon Hightown started their road to the final with a resounding 11-4 win over University of Birmingham which set the tone for the first weekend for Tina Cullen’s side, who collected maximum points with victories over Slough (4-2), Harleston Magpies (3-1) and Clifton (6-2). With Sally Walton and Tina Cullen in imperious form in front of goal, last year’s runners-up had given themselves a strong platform for qualification. 

The second weekend was something of a stroll as they collected the point needed for qualification from a 2-2 draw with East Grinstead, ensuring they would take top spot for the second year in a row. That meant they would line up against Canterbury in the semi-final in a repeat of last year’s clash at the same stage. Once again Walton and Cullen chipped in with a brace each to add to a strike from Kayleigh Humphries. Despite a late barrage from Canterbury, some outstanding goalkeeping from Amy Tennant saw Hightown through, 5-4.

As you’d expect, their main threats are top scorer Walton who has 20 goals so far, and Cullen, who has 12. Their mix of youth and experience has stood them in good stead as they attempt to capture the title that eluded them last year.

Despite defeats in the opening weekend to Harleston Magpies and Slough, East Grinstead started well enough, picking up wins over Canterbury and Reading to leave them handily placed on six points after the first weekend.

The second weekend saw them go on a run of three wins from four, with the only dropped points coming from a 2-2 draw with their finals opponents, Bowdon. The final game of the qualification phase had the Sussex side needing a win against Sutton Coldfield, which they produced thanks in part to four goals from Sophie Bray in a 7-3 win. That pitted them against Slough in the semi-finals where they played out a tense affair, eventually winning 1-0 thanks to Bray’s goal four minutes from time, which sent them through to the final in dramatic fashion.

England star Sophie Bray has played her part, scoring 12 goals for her side so far, whilst Pip Rabey has added a useful contribution with seven of her own.

There isn’t long to go before we find out who will pick up the coveted Hockey 5s title. You can still buy tickets to be part of England Hockey’s big day in. Just click here for all the details.