Hampstead & Westminster start the season with mixed fortunes
- Credit: Archant
Hampstead & Westminster Ladies slipped to defeat against Loughborough Students in the Premier League on Saturday.
With Paddington Rec being relaid by Westminster Council the game was played at Bisham Abbey, the home of GB Hockey – the first Premier League game in over a decade to be played there.
Hampstead came out fired up and capitalised after five minutes of good pressure as Sarah Robertson slotted into the bottom right corner after a good steal from Lauren Turner.
The students fought back almost instantly, though, and replied with two goals inside the next five minutes.
The second quarter stayed goalless and the score was still 2-1 at half-time, with plenty of time for Hampstead to turn the game around.
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But Loughborough came out of the break with most hunger and shocked Hampstead with two more quick goals to take a commanding 4-1 lead.
Hampstead regrouped and Emily Douglas smashed in a penalty corner just before the end of the third quarter to set up a tense last 15 minutes.
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The students soaked up all Hampstead’s pressure in the final quarter as it ended 4-2.
The men played their first Premier League home game in Reading on Sunday against Old Georgians.
A scrappy first quarter was brought to an end by some good circle defence by Hampstead to keep it 0-0.
Eventually, the OG’s plan to keep slamming the ball into the D paid off as the ball fell free to Tindall who was able to finish.
A stern team talk from head coach Kwan Browne seemed to do the trick and got Hampstead going, as they came out looking like a different side in the second half.
A good passage of play led to Josh Kelly arriving at his favoured far post position to tap in the equaliser on 39 minutes.
Hampstead continued to control the game but struggled to convert possession into chances and a lapse in concentration gave OG’s a prime chance with star GB striker Sam Ward in a 1-on-1 with Toby Reynolds-Cotterill, but the keeper came out on top as it ended level.
Hampstead’s newly promoted ladies’ seconds grabbed their first-ever points in National League with a solid 5-2 win at Canterbury in the East Conference.
Emily Court opened the scoring, quickly followed by a Canterbury equaliser.
Hampstead kept the pressure on and Rene Johnson fired a strike from the top of the circle into the bottom left corner.
Canterbury levelled again before half-time but Hampstead scored two incredible team goals through Amy Askew and Vicky Beglin before defender Jess Orrett wrapped it up.