Battling Loughborough Students held last season’s champions Surbiton to a goalless draw in the Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.
Surbiton have stamped their authority on the Premier Division in recent years, winning the title for seven consecutive seasons.
But Loughborough, who finished seventh in the table last campaign, showed great resolve to keep a clean sheet against a side that scored 45 goals in 18 games last season.
Their head coach Brett Holland said: “The game was really balanced, but Surbiton had chances in the second half and we had to defend with everything we had.
“We would’ve lost this game last year, but our maturity is growing exponentially and we had some really good spells of possession.
“We learned a lot from our first season in the division last year and we’ve had a really good pre-season. We’ve retained a lot of our players so feel that this is a really special year for us.”
Elsewhere Holcombe inflicted a 5-0 defeat on top-flight newcomers Swansea.
Eloise Richards and Lorna Jane Cruickshank put visitors Holcombe into a 2-0 lead by the halfway mark and Argentinian duo Agueda Moroni Malgarejo and Ivana Pessina made it four.
Beth Bingham slotted home from a penalty corner on the hour to complete the scoring.
A seven-minute goal rush saw East Grinstead beat Beeston 3-0 with Tess Howard and Sophie Bray both scoring in the 20th minute before Bray bagged a second in the 27th minute. The result puts East Grinstead top as the only team with two wins from two.
Clifton Robinsons got their first win of the season at the second time of asking with a 3-1 win over Wimbledon.
Megan Crowson and Catherine Macauley gave them a 2-0 lead at the break and Maria Jones wrapped up the points in the 52nd minute.
Georgie Blackwood scored for the second consecutive game for Wimbledon, but it proved to be just a consolation.
Buckingham came back from 2-1 down to claim victory over the University of Birmingham.
Goals from Rebecca Manton and Lauren Hunt had seen Birmingham go in front after Lauren Thomas’ opener for Buckingham. But a second from Thomas and then an Emma O’Nien strike straight from the restart saw Buckingham snatch three points.
Sunday 27th September – England Hockey Men’s Premier Division
Great Britain stars Sam Ward and James Carson both hit hat-tricks as Old Georgians powered to an 8-0 win over the University of Durham in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.
Carson netted his first on 10 minutes and made it 3-0 on 28 minutes, just after brother Tom had nabbed the second.
And there was no let-up for Durham as James Tindall made it 4-0 soon after the restart. Ward went on make it three before Carson completed his hat-trick in the final minute of play.
Ben Boon bagged a brace as Surbiton made it two wins from two with a 5-2 win at Beeston.
Surbiton held a slender 2-1 lead going into half time with Rob Farrington and Jonathan Gall finding the net. Lucas Alcalde was on target for the home side.
But Luke Taylor made it 3-1 on 44 minutes from a penalty corner and Boon’s two goals in three minutes put the game out of Beeston’s reach, although Adam Dixon did score a consolation.
East Grinstead also have a perfect record. Louis Gittens scored a goal in each half for them as they beat the University of Exeter 6-2 on the road.
Ben Mackey and Gittens gave the visitors the edge at the break and although Archie Winter and Max Lowery found the target for Exeter, East Grinstead had too much for them and goals from Gittens, Simon Faulkner, Simon Whait and Barney Bithell put the result beyond doubt.
Holcombe are also on maximum points and showed great resolve to come back from a goal down to beat Oxted 3-1. Timothy Guise-Brown tucked home from a penalty corner on the half-hour mark but Sam Hooper soon had Holcombe level when he also converted from a penalty corner.
Hooper was on the mark again on 52 minutes and Barry Middleton increased the lead with three minutes left on the clock.
Wimbledon claimed their first win of the season as a goal apiece from Liam Ansell and Phil Roper helped them to a 4-1 defeat of Brooklands Manchester University. Rory Patterson and Ben Francis completed the scoring for Wimbledon with David Flanagan bagging for Brooklands.