Hampstead & Westminster’s women prove their point to clinch promotion to Premier
- Credit: Archant
Hampstead & Westminster’s women secured their place in the Investec Women’s League Premier Division in style with back-to-back wins at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre last weekend.
Having lost the first match of their promotion round-robin against Slough in Nottingham a week earlier, they edged past Loughborough Students thanks to a late Lucy Hyams goal on Saturday.
And a 7-1 romp against Stourport on Sunday, with goals from Mel Wilkinson (2), Jasmine Clark, former GB international Emily Maguire (2), Hayley Turner and Kate McCaw, saw them top the four-team group and ensure promotion.
Co-captain Kat Baker said: “The key thing was believing we were still in it and had a chance. We had to regroup, be proud of our performance (against Slough). We were really dominant.
“We needed a big performance against Loughborough to keep the dream alive. A lot of supporters were saying it was tricky to watch, but I’m really proud of the team. We kept believing, trying to get that goal, we didn’t panic of play silly.
“We trusted the prep we’d done and thankfully we did it. It was a really good game and it would’ve felt unjust us not getting the result.”
After cheering the men to a semi-final win over Beeston, the women – coached by Olympic gold medalist Kate Richardson-Walsh and Irish international Sarah Kelleher – returned the next day to complete their mission, having won the East Conference title.
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Baker added: “We said we wanted to win both games, then we can’t ask for more. That was still the task but it’s natural to be thinking about what is going on on the other pitch.
“We stayed focused, knew goals would help, but even at 3-1 and 4-1 we couldn’t relax. We got the nod that Loughborough were in the lead (against Slough) and knew goals were important.
“Thankfully more came. It was tough on Stourport, but they were very congratulatory. We proved we deserved promotion. We felt robbed at Slough and were so down, so to come out on top was amazing.”
Having celebrated their own achievement the team then took to the stands to cheer on the men in their final against Surbiton.
And a 3-1 win for their clubmates made it a memorable double, with Baker adding: “To win as they did made it a pretty mega weekend. We had a couple to celebrate!”