Strong is the hero as Surbiton clinch dramatic promotion

Croydon Guardian: Show of strength: Surbiton's Chloe Strong Show of strength: Surbiton's Chloe Strong

Chloe Strong was the toast of Surbiton Ladies as the Sugden Road side secured promotion to the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday.

Having lost their first promotion play-off match against Conference West champions Buckingham a fortnight earlier, Surbiton were facing elimination with one minute remaining of their second match against the Premier Division’s ninth placed team, Slough, on Saturday, as they trailed 3-2, Vicky Bryant having scored both Surbiton goals.

But Strong’s last minute penalty corner conversion snatched a 3-3 draw to keep Surbiton’s promotion hopes alive.

Buckingham drew 1-1 with Conference North champions Beeston, but lost 3-1 to Slough on Sunday to give the winners of the final match between Surbiton and Beeston the opportunity to clinch the second promotion place.

A Strong brace, two more from Vicky Bryant both scored twice and a lone Abi Robinson effort secured a comfortable 5-2 win to clinch promotion.

Surbiton will hope to complete a promotion and cup double on May 13, when they play the University of Birmingham in the Investec Women’s Cup final at Cannock.

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