Photo c/o David Kissman
England Hockey Ladies League Play-offs
28th April, University of Birmingham
- Beeston – Eloise Stenner (PS16), Sophie Robinson (FG17)
Beeston Ladies secured their place in the Investec Women’s Premier League with a hard fought 2-1 victory over previously undefeated Hampstead & Westminster at Birmingham University.
The win earned Beeston the three points they needed to take them to the Premier League after defeating Stourport last week at Nottingham Hockey Centre.
After starting brightly, Beeston took the lead after Eloise Stenner coolly slotted home a penalty stroke after Lauren Burrell was victim to a cynical stick tackle inside the D. Within minutes the Bees doubled their lead when Sophie Robinson neatly controlled a slide rule pass from Esme Burge just inside the D, and rocketed a strike into the bottom corner.
All smiles! Goalscorers, Sophie Robinson (left) and Eloise Stenner (right). Photo c/o David Kissman
The score remained 2-0 until the break, but at that point the game turned. Hampstead, knowing a defeat would leave them in a difficult position to gain promotion came out of the traps hard and put the North Conference Champions under a lot of pressure. Despite the onslaught, Beeston faired well under the pressure, and with an assured performance from GB international Nicki Cochrane in the goal the score remained at 2-0 until the final ten minutes.
Hampstead then pegged a goal back with a penalty corner deflection, but Beeston dug deep and saw out the final stages to claim their place in the top flight.
Beeston Coach, Colin Clarke, was delighted with the result commenting “It has been an amazing season. To gain promotion to the Premier League in both indoor and outdoor this season is testament to the quality and dedication of the playing group and we look forward to embracing that challenge next season.”
Manager, Chris Glover, was also in jubilant mood stating “It has been a remarkable effort by the squad, not only today but across the whole season. Colin has led the group phenomenally well, setting the standards on and off the pitch, and the girls have been truly outstanding. We are very excited about the prospect of Premier League hockey next season, and we can now enjoy this feeling before beginning the planning for a big challenged next season.”