Investec Women’s Hockey League Championship Playoffs 3rd/4th place: Canterbury 3-2 Surbiton.

Two goals from Jade Mayne and the winner from Sarah Kerly ensured Canterbury bounced back from yesterday’s defeat to secure third place with a hard-earned 3-2 win over Surbiton. 

Surbiton took the lead early in the first quarter. A sweeping counterattack after a Canterbury penalty corner saw Sarah Haycroft and Elen Barnes link up well, the latter’s cross diverted into the Canterbury net for an own goal.

The game was nip and tuck with both defences being put under pressure, but clear-cut chances were hard to come by. Sarah Page shot low at the near post but Aurora Mears kicked the ball clear before Eliza Brett had a great chance at the other end, but she could only crash the ball into Isabella Williamson’s pads from close range.

Canterbury equalised from a penalty corner. Mel Clewlow shaped to shoot, but instead slid a lovely pass to Jade Mayne who made no mistake, slotting the ball into the goal for 1-1.

A minute later Surbiton re-established their lead. Amy Bryant was afforded time and space to drive into the D on the right, where she shot into the bottom corner across the goalkeeper for an instant reply.

Vanessa Roberts stung Mears’ glove in the third quarter with a fierce shot, but Canterbury were starting to threaten more and more on the break.

On 52 minutes Mayne showed why she is one of the most feared strikers in the league as she pounced on a defensive mistake to fizz a reverse stick shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-2.

At the start of the fourth quarter Surbiton had a great chance to score their third, Emma Batten latched onto a through ball and was clean through but Mears was out quickly to smother the chance with an excellent piece of goalkeeping.

With eight minutes left to play, Canterbury struck a telling blow. Sarah Kerly despatched a low shot past Williamson’s right foot to score what would turn out to be the winner.

Canterbury managed to shut the game down, not allowing Surbiton any further chances as they held on for the win.

Surbiton have had an excellent season having come up from the East Conference just this year. A fourth place finish for a promoted side is no mean feat. Canterbury however, will feel third spot is no less than their efforts this term have deserved. Having narrowly missed out on top spot in the league, the Polo Farm outfit have shown terrific character to bounce back from that disappointment to gain the third place. A very proud season for both clubs in both men’s and ladies’ hockey.

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