Hampstead & Westminster women book first trip to League Finals

Hampstead & Westminster's women celebrate a goal against East Grinstead (pic Charlie Gooders Photogr

Hampstead & Westminster's women celebrate a goal against East Grinstead (pic Charlie Gooders Photography) - Credit: Archant

Hampstead & Westminster’s women had mixed fortunes on a big double-header weekend in the Investec League Premier Division.

Matt Guise-Brown celebrates one of Hampstead & Westminster's goals against Reading (pic Mark Clews)

Matt Guise-Brown celebrates one of Hampstead & Westminster's goals against Reading (pic Mark Clews) - Credit: Archant

Looking to cement their hold on second place, after losing to Buckingham, they headed to Holcombe and took an early lead thanks to Hayley Turner's quick reactions at a penalty corner.

Rochelle GIanfrancesco made some brilliant saves on her way to player of the match honours, with Fran Tew doubling Hampstead's lead with a moment of magic before half time.

Lauren Turner made it 3-0 at the far post, but the hosts hit back in the final quarter, before Fleur Horner's late short corner strike sealed a 4-1 win and top-four spot for a first-ever trip to the League Finals.

Joie Leigh put Hampstead ahead in Sunday's clash at third-placed East Grinstead, but Olympic gold medalist Sophie Bray hit back with a brace for the hosts as they closed to within one point of the Maida Vale outfir with three games left to play.

Hampstead host newly-crowned champions Surbiton at Paddingto Rec on Saturday.

The men also had a double header and claimed maximum points to maintain their hopes of catching second-placed Wimbledon.

Most Read

A first-half hat-trick from Matt Guise-Brown put them on their way to a 5-0 win at bottom club Reading on Saturday, with Jonny Gooch and Sam French also on target.

And Sunday's clash with fourth-placed old Georgians turned out to be a thriller, as Hampstead avenged a last-minute loss from their earlier meeting.

Two teams packed full of international talent battled it out, with Guise-Brown beating GB's George Pinner from a penalty corner on 13 minutes.

Richard Smith doubled Hampstead's lead by converting another corner before half-time, but Old Georgians changed things up in the third quarter and Sam Ward nettted in the 41st minute.

Hampstead came under considerable pressure in the third quarter following a yellow card for captain Toby Roche, but held onto their lead and then dominated the final session.

After enjoying a lot possession and a series of scoring opportunities French sealed a 3-1 win in the 60th minute to leave them one point behind Wimbledon.

Hampstead also return to Paddington Rec on Saturday to take on the University of Exeter, who are on a good run of form since the winter break.