League Finals Preview: Surbiton v East Grinstead

Surbiton v East Grinstead
Surbiton and East Grinstead go head to head in the semi-final stage of both the Men’s and Investec Women’s League Finals in two matches that look set to thrill the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre crowd. Ahead of the games, we take a look at the sides.

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Surbiton men

Investec Women’s League Finals:

Surbiton

The second match of the Investec Women’s League Finals will be fought out between Surbiton and East Grinstead at 5:45pm.

Surbiton’s women will be on the hunt for a phenomenal sixth successive Investec Women’s Hockey League Championships title this weekend but will see a strong East Grinstead stand in their way in their semi-final match.

Surbiton have been a rock at the back, conceding a league low of 12 goals, as they finished with the best goal difference of +25 and have found form at the right time with only one defeat in their last seven matches.

The last time these two sides met Surbiton were the ones to take the spoils, claiming a 3-1 victory thanks to goals from Georgie Twigg, Olivia Chilton and Jenna Woolven after Sophie Bray had opened the scoring for East Grinstead. 

Twigg and Woolven finished as Surbiton’s top goal-scorers on 7, with the latter averaging more than a goal per game as Surbiton look as strong as ever going into this year’s Investec League Finals.

Surbiton

East Grinstead

East Grinstead were beaten in the semi-finals at last year’s event by Holcombe and will be pushing to advance further this time around. 

Sophie Bray, who joined East Grinstead from Surbiton, has been in frightening form this season, scoring a joint league high of 18 goals and will certainly be one to watch on Saturday.

Finishing the campaign in superb form with five wins from their final six games, East Grinstead amassed more field goals than any other side with 28, and have looked lethal in recent weeks.

Having been victorious at this year’s Jaffa Super 6s competition, this East Grinstead side know how to win, and will be hungry to claim a first ever league title.

East Grinstead women


Men’s League Finals:

The first match of the Men’s League Finals will see the league leaders, Surbiton, face East Grinstead to commence Saturday’s semi-final action at 11am.

Surbiton

Having won consecutive League Finals in spectacular style, both times via a shootout after drawing 3-3 in regular time, Surbiton will be hoping to repeat their heroics and make it three in a row. 

The league’s top scorers with a whopping 76 (29 more than any other side) – 28 of which came from the stick of Scotland and GB international Alan Forsyth – Surbiton have been an entertaining side to watch through the year.

Arjan Drayton-Chana scored a late winner to see Surbiton past East Grinstead in February when the sides last met in the league for a 2-1 home win.

Dominating the league with 15 wins and only one loss, registering eight wins on the bounce, Surbiton haven’t lost a league game in 2019 and will look to keep that red-hot form going through the League Finals.  

Surbiton men

East Grinstead

After failing to make it to last year’s League Finals, East Grinstead will be eager to impress when they tackle Surbiton at this year’s event, after securing a top four finish on the last game of the season in a must-win match.

East Grinstead only just clinched their spot at League Finals by goal-difference, after finishing level on 27 points with Reading. Their end of 2018 form proved vitally important as they went unbeaten from the end of October until the Christmas break, before only recording three wins after the turn of the year.

Only Hampstead & Westminster were able to score more than East Grinstead's 14 goals from Penalty Corners as the side showed their strength from set-pieces.

These two sides battled one another in the latest Jaffa Super 6s final, in which a stunning Ashley Jackson goal won the game for East Grinstead in a tense shootout, a result EG will take confidence from going into Saturday’s League Finals clash.

East Grinstead men