Photo credit: Mark Clews
A goal from Lucy Hyams was enough for Hampstead & Westminster to record a fourth successive victory in the Vitality Women’s Premier Division.
The side co-coached by Sarah Kelleher and Kate Richardson-Walsh boasted a 100% record coming into the fourth weekend of action but were made to work hard by a University of Birmingham side who had won and drawn their opening two games of the season.
However, Hyams’ first strike of the season from a 17th minute corner was enough to see Hampstead record the win and stay at the top of the table.
Behind them, three teams are on six points with East Grinstead now second in the table after beating Beeston 2-1.
Returning to domestic action after their EuroHockey Club Trophy campaign, they secured a second win of the season thanks to goals from Chloe Palmer and Ellie Rayer. Sophie Robinson pulled one back for Beeston in the second half but an equaliser proved elusive.
Wimbledon had a fruitful trip to Swansea as they won for a second time this season to move up to third.
Sara Jayne Thorburn opened the scoring before Eliza Brett and Lucy Holder both scored for a second game in a row either side of a strike from captain Harriet Naismith. Jessica Lea added a consolation for Swansea in the 59th minute.
A late goal from Jo Day – her second in as many games – saw Buckingham maintain their unbeaten start to the season as they drew 2-2 away to Surbiton.
Abbie Brant had given the visitors the lead before Great Britain international Sophie Hamilton levelled proceedings early in the second half. With just four minutes left, Eloise Stenner thought she had snatched victory for Surbiton but Day found the goal two minutes later to ensure both sides finished with a point apiece.
That result was Buckingham’s third draw of the season and means they currently lie fourth in the standings, with Surbiton fifth – they are also yet to be beaten in the league this season.
The day’s other game saw Clifton Robinsons score a last minute equaliser to deny Holcombe a maiden victory in the 2021/22 season.
Claire Jones struck in the dying moments to secure a third draw in four matches for her team this season and stop Holcombe registering their first win after they had taken the lead early on through Izzy Shelley.
The University of Nottingham produced another huge victory to ensure they sit at the top of Division One North. They beat Belper 10-0, with German international Nike Lorenz scoring six and Maddie Axford notching a second hat-trick of the season. That was their third win in as many games, a feat matched by Bowdon Hightown as they beat Stourport 6-2 with Sophia Crawshay scoring four times. The University of Durham moved to third in the table with a 4-1 win over Gloucester City, with Leicester City fourth as they beat Brooklands Poynton 4-2. Ben Rhydding and Olton & West Warwicks drew 1-1 in the other game.
Reading and Sevenoaks continued their 100% records in Division One South as they won their third games in a row, beating Canterbury 4-1 and Slough 3-2 respectively. The other matches saw some thrilling draws as Harleston Magpies came from three goals down to finish 3-3 in their game against Cambridge City. Surbiton 2s scored twice in the final seven minutes to ensure their match against Trojans finished 3-3 while Isca were two goals behind in the second half before eventually drawing 4-4 with Wimbledon 2s.
London Wayfarers continued their brilliant start to life in the National Leagues by recording a third straight victory, beating Bromley & Beckenham 3-0. Southgate beat Canterbury 2s by the same scoreline to sit second in the Conference East, with Hampstead & Westminster 2s in third after beating Ipswich 2-1. Horsham secured their second win of the season with a 1-0 win over Barnes, while Chelmsford got off the mark with a 2-0 win over East London.
Sutton Coldfield produced a stunning performance as they beat Broxbourne 7-0 in the Conference Midlands to see them top the table with a maximum nine points. Loughborough Students 2s recorded their second win in two matches this season as they overcame University of Birmingham 2s 2-1, while Khalsa Leamington registered their first points with a 3-1 win over Oxford University. Bedford and Cannock were both victorious for the first time this season as they both recorded 2-1 victories over Beeston 2s and St Albans respectively.
Timperley recorded their third win in a row in the Conference North as they beat Didsbury Northern 2-0. Doncaster are the only other team in the league with a 100% record (they’ve only played two games) as they beat Neston 2-0. Leeds and Wakefield recorded their first wins of the season, the former beating University of Durham 2s 3-1 and the latter overcoming Fylde 2-1. In the other game, Pendle Forest registered their first points of the season by drawing 1-1 with Alderley Edge.
Bristol Firebrands and Cheltenham occupy the top two spots in the Conference West after both recorded second victories of the season. The former beat Basingstoke 4-2 while the latter were 3-2 victors over University of Bristol. Witney emerged 3-0 winners over Team Bath Buccs as they recorded their first win of the season, a feat matched by Exe who scored two late goals to defeat Oxford Hawks 3-2. The day’s other game saw Penarth come from three goals down to draw 3-3 against Clifton Robinsons, all their strikes coming between the 61st and 65th minutes.
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