Hockey: Double disappointment for Hampstead & Westminster

Matt Guise-Brown celebrates (pic Mark Clews)

Matt Guise-Brown celebrates (pic Mark Clews) - Credit: Archant

Hampstead & Westminster’s women saw their unbeaten run in the Investec League ended by Clifton Robinsons after a nine-goal thriller in Bristol.

Grace Balsdon on the ball for Hampstead & Westminster (pic Mark Clews)

Grace Balsdon on the ball for Hampstead & Westminster (pic Mark Clews) - Credit: Archant

Having secured a late 3-2 win over their rivals at Paddington Rec a few weeks earlier, the Premier Division newcomers expected a tough test in the return.

But they got off to a flying start as Grace Balsdon netted a pair of penalty corners in the first quarter, before the hosts hit back in the second.

Joie Leigh made it 3-1 against her former club, but Clifton countered to claim their second and set up a tense final quarter.

The hosts levelled, only for Amy Askew to deflect in a reverse stick cross from the left to put Hampstead 4-3 up with 10 minutes left.

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But Clifton squared matters once more from a penalty corner and, with less than a minute left on the clock, converted a penalty flick to snatch victory.

Despite seeing their six-game unbeaten start to the campaign come to an end Hampstead remain in second place, five points behind defending champions Surbiton and five ahead of third-placeed Buckingham.

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They return to action after the international break with a home match against Bowdon Hightown on November 9.

Hampstead & Westminster's men also tasted defeat at the hands of unbeaten Premier Division rivals Wimbledon, in their annual Saturday night fixture at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre.

They began well, in torrid conditions, and enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half but were unable to get on the scoresheet.

Wimbledon opened the scoring from close range through Ronan Harvey-Kelly after 10 minutes but after a strong half-time team-talk Hampstead came out for the second half fired up and Matt Guise-Brown converted a penalty corner to level.

It remained all square going into the final quarter but Wimbledon regained the lead with 15 minutes left and, as Hampstead poured forward, they sealed a 3-1 win in the final minute.

They return to action with a trip to Exeter University on November 10 (12pm), but Will Calnan, Harry Martin and Jacob Draper are in action for Great Britain's men in their Olympic qualifier with Malaysia this weekend, while Sarah Robertson and Lily Owsley play for the women against Chile.

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