Surbiton earn sixth straight Investec Women's Hockey League title

Surbiton earn sixth straight Investec Women's Hockey League title
Surbiton earned a sixth straight Investec Women's Hockey League title by defeating Holcombe 1-0 at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

Giselle Ansley's penalty stroke in the first half proved to be decisive in a tight affair, with Holcombe more than putting up a fight, having finished top of the league in the regular season.

But Surbiton's extra guile and defensive resilience on the day proved decisive, and they held firm to extend a quite amazing run of six titles in a row.

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With eight minutes gone, it looked certain that Surbiton's Hannah Martin had scored, only for it to bounce back off the upright and away to safety.

That was the closest either side came to a goal in the first quarter, and the next notable effort saw Sabbie Heesh save a Holcombe penalty corner on 16 minutes, allowing Erica Sanders to counter attack dangerously, only for Holcs to again defend stoically.

Their resistance was finally broken on 24 minutes when Martin was brought down after a charging run into the D. Ansley, stroke taker for both club and country, despatched it low to her left, giving Rose Thomas no chance.

The second half saw both sides enjoy decent spells of possession, but it was tense and tight, resulting in few meaningful chances at either end. Georgie Twigg very nearly turned home a penalty corner to make it 2-0 but it ended up just wide, and when Heesh made a good save on 55, it was the closest Holcombe came to an equaliser.

Holcombe had played a full part in the game and on another day may well have taken a result. However Surbiton's experience in these finals, and their quality when it mattered, proved decisive.