Hampstead & Westminster’s women celebrate title win, but want big promotion prize

Hampstead & Westminster co-captains Hayley Turner and Kat Baker (pic Mark Clews)

Hampstead & Westminster co-captains Hayley Turner and Kat Baker (pic Mark Clews) - Credit: Archant

Hampstead & Westminster’s women completed ‘step one’ of their project for the season by clinching the East Conference title last weekend.

Hampstead & Westminster celebrate (pic Mark Clews)

Hampstead & Westminster celebrate (pic Mark Clews) - Credit: Archant

But now they want the bigger prize and promotion to the Premier Division, with the first of three play-off matches against Slough on Sunday.

First-half goals from Hayley Turner, Lucy Hyams, Jasmine Clark and Amy Askew sealed a 4-0 win over Ipswich to see them finish two points clear of title rivals Wimbledon.

And they followed that with a 4-1 win over Ben Rhydding in the cup semi-final on Sunday, to set up a final meeting with Clifton on May 5. Co-captain Katherine Baker said: “There was a bit of relief that we’ve completed step one, but it’s definitely eyes on the prize to get promoted.

“There were some celebrations but we whizzed up to Yorkshire and to get into the cup final is an added bonus. We’re ready now for the matches over the next two weekends.”

All four of Saturday’s goals came in a 20-minute spell and Baker admitted there could have been many more, adding: “Saturday was a really good game. We piled on the pressure and had a lot of chances.

“It was a good test having the double header and Sunday was a physical game, they had typical northern grit.”

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And having gone close to moving up last season, the team are determined to complete the job this time, with games against Loughborough and Stourport to follow next weekend (April 13-14).

“We drew 1-1 with Slough last year, so it will be a test,” added Baker. “Stourport we also played lasst year, but Loughborough are a new team to face.

“Our sights are fully set on doing the job this year after the experience of last year. It has acquitted us well and we’ve got a really strong squad.

“And having the experience of (coaches) Kate (Ricardson-Walsh) and Sarah (Kelleher) means we’re in a really good spot.”