Surbiton Ladies maintained their narrow advantage over Holcombe at the top of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division with a 1-0 win over the University of Birmingham at Sugden Road, Holcombe winning a Kent derby 2-1 at home to Canterbury on Saturday night.

Surbiton needed a 21st minute penalty corner conversion from Georgie Twigg to secure all three points and inflict Birmingham’s first league defeat of the season.

Birmingham came close to equalising from two penalty corners and Surbiton were reduced temporarily to nine players late in the game when Giselle Ansley and Susie Catlin were banished to the sin-bin after being shown yellow and green cards respectively.

Bowdon Hightown, ninth in the division, are the visitors to Sugden Road tomorrow (Saturday) for a noon showdown.

On Sunday, Surbiton Men ventured up to Sale to take on a Brooklands Manchester University team which earned their first league point of the season at struggling Sevenoaks the week before.

The last two meetings between the teams in Cheshire had ended in thrilling 3-3 draws, but Surbiton dominated throughout to deservedly win 7-2.

Surbiton took the lead in the fourth minute through Alan Forsyth. Ben Boon was forced wide by Brooklands’ goalkeeper, Robert Turner when in a one on one situation and Sam Spencer hit the right post as Surbiton sought to double their lead.

James Royce added Surbiton’s second goal in the 24th minute before Brooklands fought their way back into the match, Dan Vincent converting a penalty corner five minutes later.

In added on time at the end of the first half, Forsyth touched in Royce’s shot from Surbiton’s first penalty corner for a 3-1 half time lead.

Within seconds of the restart, Forsyth took advantage of a Brooklands turnover to complete his hat-trick. Royce struck again in the 42nd minute and Boon scored his first goals for the club in the 53rdh and 66th minutes

Richard Slater scored a second consolation goal for Brooklands but Surbiton stay third, two points behind leaders Holcombe and Hampstead & Westminster.

Surbiton host fifth placed Reading tomorrow (Saturday) at 5.30 pm.