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Careless Holcs throw lead away

Holcombe 3 Formby 5

A WEAKENED Holcombe let slip a 2-0 half-time lead as they suffered a surprise 5-3 defeat to mid-table Formby at Holcombe Park on Sunday.

The all-conquering newly-crowned English Hockey League Men’s Premier 3 champions were without player-coach Greg Nicol, Jon Cooper, Steve Evans and John Paul on a day they lost in the competition for only the second time this season.

Team manager Mike Haines afterwards disclosed that Nicol had missed the match in order to check the form of play-off opponents Bournville at Southgate. Holcs take on Bournville in the play-offs at Beeston on May 7-8.

Haines had no excuses for the team’s sudden loss of concentration as they took their foot off the gas in the second-half.

He said: "We didn’t turn up for the second-half. We’ve won the league so you have to ask whether our motivation waned. We just switched off after starting so strongly."

Kevin Johnson opened the scoring with Denzil Dolley increasing the lead. Formby pulled a goal back early in the second period and then went from strength to strength.

Holcs found themselves in the unfamiliar position of trailing a match 5-2 before scoring a late consolation.

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