Hampstead women look to seal runners-up spot
- Credit: Archant
Hampstead & Westminster’s women will look to secure the runners-up spot in the Investec League Premier Division when they host Beeston on Saturday.
But the top-flight newcomers need champions Surbiton to beat rivals East Grinstead to ensure a home semi-final, despite beating Buckingham last weekend.
Looking to avenge a 2-1 defeat from a few weeks earlier, Hampstead found Buckingham's defence tough to break down.
They took the lead from a short corner, won by Lauren Turner, as Lily Owsley reacted quickest to volley home when Fleur Horner's strike came back off the keeper's pads.
And it proved decisive as the only goal of the day to secure a hard-fought three points on the road.
Hampstead had to defend and defend well at points in the game and woman of the match Horner helped a strong back line deny Buckingham an equaliser.
And the two sides could meet again in the League Final, if Hampstead can get the better of East Grinstead in their semi-final, wherever it is played.
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All four teams at the top of the men's Premier Division enjoyed big wins, ensuring the final positions behind leaders Surbiton will go down to the wire.
Hampstead are in the driving seat for second place after a 6-1 win at East Grinstead, despite falling behind in the very first minute.
Kei Kaeppeler levelled just two minutes later and the defending champions dominated from then on, as Chris Cargo bundled home a second goal before the first break.
Matt Guise-Brown made it 3-1 in the second quarter from a penalty corner and struck again after the restart to make it 4-1.
Hampstead then capitalised on a mistake by the home side to launch a quick counter-attack before Will Calnan smashed home with an unstoppable reverse stick strike.
Guise-Brown completed his hat-trick and took his tally for the season to 23 before the end of the third quarter, with no further scoring in the last session.
Hampstead also welcome Beeston to Paddignton Rec on Sunday, knowing another win will secure the runners-up spot and home advantage int he semi-finals against Wimbledon or Old Georgians.