Hampstead & Westminster’s women hit back in eight-goal thriller while men win again
- Credit: Archant
Hampstead & Westminster’s women were knocked off top spot in the Investec League Premier Division after a thrilling 4-4 draw with East Grinstead at Paddington Rec.
Having made fast starts on the way to four successive wins in the top flight, they saw their early pressure countered by EG, who raced into a 3-0 lead in 17 minutes.
Olympic gold medalists Sophie Bray and Laura Unsworth were on target for the visitors, along with current Great Britain international Ellie Rayer, but Hampstead used the first break to regroup.
Lily Owsley picked the ball up and drove at the EG defence to slide the ball home for their first goal, a minute into the second quarter, and the Hampstead defence made it harder for their rivals to establish any clear chances before half time.
Hampstead made a bright start to the second half, with Joie Leigh pouncing on a loose ball after four minutes to fire into the bottom right corner.
GB duo Owsley and Sarah Robertson then combined on the counter-attack, with Owsley slotting home her second to square matters on 48 minutes.
But EG regained their lead when the ball came back off a post and Unsworth slotted past Rochelle Gianfrancesco.
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The hosts pressed once more and forced a series of penalty corners, drawing level when Meg Byas struck the ball cleanly and it deflected off the stick of the first runner to fly high into the net.
Both sides looked for a winner in the final minutes, but it ended all square as Hampstead were replaced at the summit by Surbiton, ahead of a trip to Loughborough on Saturday.
The men returned to domestic action after their EHL experience in Barcelona to edge past a spirited Brooklands MU.
Richard Smith opened the scoring from a penalty corner just before half time, having netted in the historic win over Dutch side HGC a week earlier.
But Brooklands got back on terms when David Flanaghan found the net just after the break and it remained all square going into the final quarter.
Hampstead kept pushing and won a penalty corner, which Matt Guise-Brown converted to move past Will Naylor as the club's highest-ever score in the National League with 58 goals.
Toby Reynolds-Cotteril made a number of fine saves late on to help clinch the points ahead of a trip to Loughborough Students on Saturday.