Surbiton have been crowned the Women’s Hockey League champions for the third consecutive season, and Georgie Twigg puts it down to two reasons.
After finishing top of the Premier Division, Surbiton were favourites going into last weekend’s play-off finals at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre, and they lived up to that mantle.
A 2-0 win over Holcombe on Saturday, thanks to goals from Giselle Ansley and Olivia Chilton, saw Surbiton into Sunday’s final against Canterbury.
After a 0-0 draw, Surbiton keeper Abi Walker was the star of the show saving Canterbury’s first three shootout attempts, eventually leaving Hollie Webb with the deciding strike for a 3-1 win.
Twigg, who also scored in the shootout, said: “Abi has been phenomenal all season and once again she really stepped up to the mark.
“Canterbury had some very good chances in the game, but Abi was equal to them.
“There is always a lot of pressure in the shootout, and the fact Abi saved their first three took the pressure off those trying to score.”
She added: “Winning the third title is absolutely incredible, and to go two seasons unbeaten is equally incredible.
“We’ve used 26 players in the first team throughout the season – myself and the other internationals have not played that much – which is testament to our strength in depth and just how far we have come as a team.”
The evolution of the team has mirrored the evolution of the club’s perception as the top women’s domestic team.
Twigg said: “The first time we won the title we were the underdogs, and that is the one that sticks in my memory.
“This time round, the pressure was on us as the team everyone wanted to beat, but we had the know-how to step up to the mark and deal with the pressure.
“It shows just how far we’ve come and how special the achievement is.”
Surbiton go across the Channel next month for the EuroHockey Club Championships in Holland.