Surbiton claimed their second piece of silverware in a week after victory in the Investec Women’s Cup on Sunday, with captain Sarah Haycroft believing it could provide the perfect platform ahead of their upcoming European charge.
Two outstanding solo efforts by Hollie Webb and Hannah Martin encapsulated what was a brilliant performance from the south west London team as they overcame a strong Clifton Robinsons outfit 5-0 under grey Stratford skies.
Giselle Ansley also helped herself to trademark goals from penalty corners to take her overall tally for the season to 24, while Emily Atkinson nudged in what may have been the easiest goal she will ever score from just a yard in front of goal.
After being crowned Investec Women’s Hockey League Finals champions last weekend, Haycroft was delighted to end the domestic season on such a positive note.
However, with the side’s next big task coming in the form of the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup in June, she feels that the club still have a lot of areas to improve on if they are to finally prove just how good they are on the international stage.
The 25-year-old said: “I feel ecstatic. Obviously on the back of last weekend’s victory in the league finals it is great to come back here and win again.
“We are quite hard on ourselves and there are still things we think we can improve. We still have weeks of training ahead of our European campaign and there are still things we need to work on.
“We are definitely excited for the Euros. Momentum is such a powerful thing and coming off the back of last week’s league final victory this is the best preparation.”
After tense opening exchanges it was Haycroft who had the game’s first chance, forcing Clifton keeper Sarah Ellis into a fine save in the fifth minute.
Ellis was then unfortunate not to keep out Surbiton’s first penalty corner of the game in the 16th minute, Ansley’s rocket flick just sneaking underneath her, before suffering further misfortune six minutes laters as her superb save fell right at the feet of Atkinson.
Webb then showed why she is regarded as one of the finest players around as she waltzed past several defenders before nudging the ball over Ellis to give Surbiton a three-goal advantage just before half-time.
Not to be outdone, Hannah Martin also showed off her exceptional ball control by dribbling past several defenders before smashing home for the final goal in the 68th minute, following Ansley’s second earlier in the half.
Despite scoring her first goal of the season for Surbiton – and her first since claiming Olympic gold with the deciding penalty in a dramatic final last August – Webb admitted that she was just happy to see the team win and is looking forward to seeing what they can do in Europe.
“It feels good to win – we knew it would be a bit of a battle,” the former Beeston player said.
“We played well but I think there are still a lot of things to improve on. But with Europe coming up we are looking forward to that and this was a really good and to prepare for that.
“I do not score many goals so it was great to score. For me though I am not expecting to score – it is more of a team effort, but it’s nice to put my name on the scoresheet.”