Defroand helps Surbiton to deliver sixth successive title after 'sweetest success yet'
PUBLISHED: 14:30 19 April 2019
Havering's Emily Defroand was able to celebrate a hat-trick of titles with Surbiton women at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre on Sunday.
Former Coopers pupil Defroand helped the London club to a 1-0 final win over Holcombe, who topped the league table in the regular season.
And Giselle Ansley's penalty stroke in the first half made it a stunning six titles in a row for Surbiton, while completing a treble for Defroand.
“It was brilliant. The whole event, as always, was a really good advert for club hockey,” said Defroand.
“It was the sixth one in a row for Surbiton and my third since joining and it was probably the sweetest it has felt having won.
“This season was so up and down, with our availability as internationals. A total of 32 different players played so it was a big group effort.
“Other teams saw it as their year this year and fancied their chances, but had two tough games and it was brilliant to come away with the silverware.”
Surbiton, having finished runners-up during the main season, beat third-placed East Grinstead 4-1 in their semi-final on Saturday, while Holcombe eased to a 6-0 success over Buckingham.
And they went close to opening the scoring on eight minutes Hannah Martin hit a post and the ball bounced to safety.
Martin was brought down in the D after a charging run, which allowed Ansley – an Olympic gold medalist for Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Games – to fire home from the spot.
Both sides had spells on top in the second half, but chances were at a premium, although Georgie Twigg – another Olympic champion – went close to turning home a penalty corner.
Surbiton's experienced proved decisive as they held on for the win and a place at the European Club Championships in Holland, where they take on Germany's Alster in the quarter-finals this weekend.
But GB international Defroand misses out, adding: “Because of our Pro League commitments we aren't allowed to play. The Germany players in the Alster team are allowed to play, but our club season is over.
“It was nice to end on a high. It's always a nice crowd and the girls all have supportive families and friends. It's a really good event and a bonus to celebrate.”