Hockey: Hampstead & Westminster beaten by Buckingham on return

Hampstead & Westminster's Fran Tew (pic Mark Clews)

Hampstead & Westminster's Fran Tew (pic Mark Clews) - Credit: Archant

Hampstead & Westminster’s women slipped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Buckingham on their return to Investec League Premier Division action on Saturday.

With Great Britain internationals Sarah Robertson, Lily Owsley and Grace Balsdon ineligible following their Pro League exploits, the hosts fell behind to Zoe Shipperley's short corner strike.

The scoreline remained unchanged, as Hampstead saw a number of chances denied by the visiting keeper, and Buckingham went 2-0 up against the run of play in the third quarter.

In the final quarter, with nothing to lose, Hampstead again stepped up and played their best hockey of the game, resulting in a well worked team goal, finished by Fran Tew.

Hampstead pushed for an equaliser and had a number of corner opportunities but were left empty-handed and saw the gap to leaders Surbiton extend to nine points ahead of a trip to Holcombe on Saturday.

The men took on their table-topping Surbiton rivals, who arrived at Paddington Rec on Sunday still boasting a 100 per cent record.

And both sides were missing a number of their regular starting line-ups with GB players ruled out.

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Hampstead attempted to control the ball, as Surbiton focused on quick transitions and counter attack play, and most of the game was played in the centre of the pitch.

No penalty corners for Surbiton and only three for Hampstead showed how few circle entries were made and the scoreline remained blank at half-time, when their earlier meeting had produced seven first-half goals.

The deadlock was broken as a quick counter from the left to right was finished by Surbiton's Scott Evans on 44 minutes but it only took four minutes for the hosts to level as Josh Kelly converted after an unsuccessful clearance from the Surbiton keeper.

The visitors hit the post late on, but a draw seemed the fair result as Hampstead became the first team to take points off Surbiton all season.

Both teams face fourth placed Old Georgians this weekend, with Hampstead also hosting Reading on Saturday.