Surbiton Ladies’ were given an insight into life in the women’s hockey League Premier Division on Sunday – and it was not good, writes Colin Pike.
The Sugden Road outfit, recently promoted to the top flight, lost 4-1 to Premier Division side the University of Birmingham in Cannock, to end hopes of a third piece of outdoor silverware this term.
Surbiton had already won the Conference East crown and promotion play-offs.
The result mirrored the 4-1 defeat they suffered to Bowdon Hightown at the same stage of last year’s competition, although the scoreline was a little more misleading with Birmingham scoring twice in the last four minutes.
Captain Vicky Heptonstall’s side took the lead in the 24th minute, as Sandra Frankland scored from close range following a flowing attack.
But Birmingham trailed for just five minutes, with the students equalising through Liz George’s penalty corner conversion.
Surbiton were unlucky not to regain the lead early in the second half, when Abi Robinson’s pass just evaded two forwards in the circle, but three more penalty corners decided the destiny of the trophy.
Tina Evans gave Birmingham the lead in the 56th minute and Jenna Woolven scored the third with four minutes to play, before Evans struck again in added time to give her club the cup for the first time in its history.
It brought the curtain down on an otherwise terrific season for Surbiton as they also added indoor national league promotion – to Maxifuel Super Sixes Division One – to their outdoor league successes.