Women’s hockey talking points: Loughborough Students aim to turn the tide of history 

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Loughborough vs Hampstead
Loughborough and Hampstead had been each promoted final season

Credit score:
Simon Parker

Loughborough College students final graced the ladies’s Premier Division 19 years in the past. However such is the common turnover of employees and gamers for college sides that it wasn’t instantly identified on Saturday whether or not a convincing 5-1 victory over East Grinstead was their greatest within the ladies’s prime flight. For the document, in solely their second season within the Investec Premier Division, they’ve began out in precisely the identical trend as their first stint in 2000-01. the place additionally they misplaced their opener Three-2 earlier than a 5-1 victory.

It was adopted again then by two victories in three video games earlier than a 13-game winless streak. Solely this time they hope to keep away from relegation straight again to the Convention. Towards East Grinstead, Brett Holland’s aspect produced a efficiency suggesting they’ve the squad to deal with the calls for of taking part in midweek BUCS league and weekend Premier Division hockey.

A Lucy Millington double helped the College students to their first factors as total health, an aesthetic efficiency from Lizzie Neal and the elimination abilities of Izzy Petter – each are within the GB programme – proved a significant component in West Sussex. Neal and Petter, who scored a pleasant third with a full-pelt hit on the prime of the circle, shall be key gamers for Holland this season after dropping Welsh worldwide Hannah Cozens, to East Grinstead, and captain Charlotte Daly shifting to Holcombe this season.

“We’ve worked hard in the first couple of games to develop leaders,” stated Holland. “We got it in the second half and our last goal where we ended up getting a stroke, we kept the ball, made them come out to us and we were able to capitalise on the space. You can teach the skills pretty comfortably but it’s the savviness which is difficult.”

After a 7-Zero defeat to Loughborough in pre-season, East Grinstead have but to search out their rhythm following two opening defeats.

Numbers sport

6 – Six of Loughborough’s squad weren’t born when the staff had been final promoted on the finish of the 1999/2000 season. “That history and heritage is strong but it was quite a while ago, so it’s exciting and a nice place to be,” stated Holland.

16 – The final time Buckingham produced a scoring draw got here 16 matches in the past, the run ending when Bowdon Hightown’s 16-year-old Beth Alexander netted a late penalty nook to earn a 1-1 draw.

Newcomers on a roll

It is no coincidence that two of England Hockey’s rising sides, Hampstead & Westminster ladies and Previous Georgians males, are presently flying excessive on the prime of their respective divisions. Each promoted groups strengthened over the summer season and the additions of Lily Owsley, Grace Balson and Joie Leigh have given impetus to Hampstead & Westminster of their Premier Division debut. Taking part in their first dwelling sport at Paddington Rec, eased to a Three-Zero victory over College of Birmingham. 

“We looked dangerous going forward and there were some nice signs of link up and combination play between our lines,” stated co-coach Kate Richardson-Walsh. “Sarah [Kelleher] and I have been impressed with how quickly the new players have gelled on and off the pitch which is a credit to the squad and their values. We’re pleased with the start and know there is a lot more to come from this side in the coming months and years.”

Pop-up pitch for Irish bid

‘Large Stadium Hockey’ shall be witnessed for the second time this 12 months after the choice to make use of a transportable pitch at a rugby enviornment for Eire ladies’s bid to qualify for the Olympics for the primary time.

Following England Hockey’s venture at Twickenham Stoop, Hockey Eire will roll out the pitch at Energia Park, Donnybrook, dwelling of Eire ladies’s 6 Nations rugby. The 3G turf will imply a three-day turnaround, a shorter timeframe than the naturally grass at The Stoop.

Eire hope to promote 6,000 tickets for the ladies’s back-to-back matches in opposition to in November to make it financially viable.

Eire’s ladies wish to qualify for the Olympics for the primary time

Investec Girls’s Premier Division outcomes

East Grinstead 1 Loughborough College students 5

Surbiton Three Beeston Zero

Hampstead & Westminster Three College of Birmingham Zero

Bowdon 1 Buckingham 1

Clifton Robinsons 2 Holcombe 1

What’s on this weekend – September 28

Buckingham v College of Birmingham, 12pm

Surbiton v East Grinstead, 12pm

Hampstead & Westminster v Clifton Robinsons, 1.30pm

Beeston v Holcombe, 2pm

Loughborough College students v Bowdon, 2pm

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