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Hockey: defeat for Harleston Ladies

08:30 23 March 2012

Surbiton 2, Harleston Magpies Ladies 0

Magpies travelled to Women’s Conference East leaders knowing they would have to perform at the top of their game to compete with Surbiton’s high tempo.

Surbiton – who have now clinched the title – dominated the early stages, attacking the Magpies defence at pace looking to secure an early goal.

Magpies defence had to be organised and alert as the Surbiton forwards’ electric pace and sharp stick skills continued to create problems.

Strong tackles and interceptions from Catherine Cranmer and some crucial saves from goalkeeper Lisa Griffin kept Magpies in the game.

In the 28th minute Surbiton were awarded a penalty stroke after the ball struck a Magpies body on the way to goal. The stroke was converted by Becky Merchant.

Magpies started the second half at a higher intensity and secured greater possession of the ball. The forward line of Brook, Wheelhouse and Howland pressed the ball high up the pitch and forced errors from the Surbiton defence. A penalty corner strike from Frances Burrell produced a good save from the Surbiton keeper who had to react quickly to keep out the rebound.

Surbiton tried to extend their lead, but where frustrated by the Magpies’ midfield of Jones, Burrell, Barber and Debbie Francis.

Magpies had three opportunities to get back on equal terms, but were unable to convert the penalty corner opportunities. In the 68th minute Surbiton finally put the game out of Magpies’ reach when they scored their second with a well-worked penalty corner routine which was finished by Vicky Bryant.

Magpies will look to finish the season strongly when they play Chelmsford at home on Saturday.

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