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Surbiton squad effort secures dream double
Surbiton captain Sarah Haycroft once again paid tribute to her squad as they became the first team to win the Women's Hockey League championship title and Investec Women’s Cup double on Saturday.
The Sugden Road outfit secured a convincing 7-1 win over South Clubs’ Women’s Hockey League Division One runners-up Hampstead & Westminster at Highfields Hockey Centre in Nottingham.
England international Georgie Twigg struck a double to add to goals from Jenna Woolven, Rebecca Herbert, Giselle Ansley, Vanessa Roberts and Sophie Fisher-Norton as Surbtion cruised to victory.
"It’s a fantastic feeling to add the Investec Women’s Cup to our league title and qualification to Europe," said Haycroft.
"It’s been a great season which we put down to a squad with strength in depth, not just the 16 players that played in the league and cup finals. We are so happy to win the double.”
The first non-national league side to reach the final, Hampstead were stunned as Surbiton’s blitzkrieg attack gave them a 2-0 lead by the fourth minute.
First, Jenna Woolven opened the scoring in the second minute from open play, then Rebecca Herbert’s deflection from Surbiton’s first penalty corner two minutes later, put Hampstead on the back foot.
Hampstead regrouped and held out until the 20th minute, when Giselle Ansley dragged the ball high into the net from Surbiton’s fifth penalty corner, to give Surbiton a three goal half time lead.
After half time, Surbiton only needed three minutes to further extend their lead, being awarded a penalty stroke after Emily Atkinson’s penalty corner shot on goal was illegally prevented from crossing the goal-line.
Up stepped Georgie Twigg to slot the ball to Hampstead goalkeeper, Sophia Perowne’s right, to leave Hampstead trailing 4-0.
In spite of Surbiton’s domination, Hampstead had battled and were rewarded in the 42nd minute, when Annebeth Wijtenberg scored what proved to be a consolation goal from their second penalty corner.
Five minutes later, it was Twigg versus Perowne for the second time in the match as this time, it was Ansley who was illegally denied a goal.
And for the second time, Twigg was too good for the Hampstead goalkeeper, although the ball entered the goal via the inside left post.
In the 49th minute, Vanessa Roberts scored Surbiton’s sixth goal from close range.
With Surbiton guaranteed cup glory, unfortunately the game turned scrappy for a period as Hampstead’s Alice Garrard, and Surbiton’s Sarah Page, and Atkinson were all shown yellow cards and began five minute suspensions between the 51st and 59th minutes.
With five minutes remaining, Sophie Fisher-Norton marked her final appearance before leaving for university, sending Surbiton’s supporters into seventh heaven by scoring her team’s seventh goal, proving why Surbiton are truly the top ranked team in England.
Sophie Newton also received a cup winners medal on her final appearance for Surbiton before she also goes to university.
Surbiton became the first team since Bowdon Hightown in 2008-09 to complete the league and cup double, but as the play-offs weren’t introduced until the following season, Surbiton are the first team to become league champions by winning the championships, and lift the cup in the same season.
With eight goals, the match is the highest scoring final since the competition started in 1991-92, surpassing the seven goals in the 1998-99 final when Slough beat Leicester 4-3.
The six goal margin of victory and Surbiton’s seven goals are also records, the previous records both being held by Bowdon Hightown, who beat Chelmsford 5-0 in 2005-06; and previously, Hightown with their 5-0 win over Trojans in 1994-95.