Esser double keeps Hampstead & Westminster on course for top-two finish

Helen Cathcart

Helen Cathcart - Credit: Archant

Joyce Esser scored twice as Hampstead & Westminster stayed on course for a second-placed finish in the East Conference with a 4-0 win over Ipswich on Saturday.

Ipswich, having already been relegated, were nonetheless eager to put in a good display in front of their home fans. That made for a tight first half, the only goal coming when Esser scored her first through a deflection.

Ipswich faded in the second half and H&W added another goal when Cressida Grant scored. A further three goals followed quickly, as Esser grabbed her second after a great run from Helen Cathcart, and Cathcart then made it 4-0.

Fleur Horner made it 5-0 when she hammered a corner rebound high into the net.

The win kept Hampstead fourth in the table, but they can secure second place if they win their final game of the season at home to St Albans on Saturday.

Hampstead & Westminster’s men, meanwhile, welcomed champions Holcombe having staved off the threat of relegation the previous week.

The inclusion of several Great Britain players in the Holcombe squad meant Hampstead had their work cut out, and so it proved as the away side opened the scoring through Gareth Andrew.

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Despite multiple short corners for the home side they struggled to make an impact in attack, and Holcombe made it 2-0 through Nick Bandurak before half-time.

Holcombe pulled further ahead early in the second half as Samuel Ward took just two minutes to score the decisive third, and Hampstead’s late pressure came to nothing.