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Holcombe claim a crucial win over Barnes in their chase for promotion from Women’s Division 1 South –Holcombe Men lose to Hampstead & Westminster in opening Phase Three Pool A game

It’s advantage Holcombe ahead of the final weekend of Women’s Division 1 South action after winning their promotion battle with Barnes on Saturday.

Holcombe returned to second in the division and put the fate of their promotion hopes in their own hands with a 3-2 win over fellow hopefuls Barnes at Holcombe Park.

Holcombe Women are closing in on promotion back to the Premier Division after beating Barnes on Saturday Picture: Jon Goodall
Holcombe Women are closing in on promotion back to the Premier Division after beating Barnes on Saturday Picture: Jon Goodall

Reports by Lucas Ball

Holcs now know that a win at home against Wimbledon 2s this Saturday – who currently sit eighth, just a point above the relegation zone – would guarantee promotion while a draw would likely be enough with a current two-point advantage over third-placed Barnes.

Barnes’ goal difference is 18 worse than Holcombe, a deficit which is incredibly unlikely to be overturned, especially with Barnes facing champions Surbiton 2s.

Holcombe are aiming for promotion back to the Premier Division at the first attempt.

The win on Saturday against Barnes was crucial and a fast start put Holcs two to the good inside 15 minutes courtesy of a third-minute goal from New Zealander Deanna Ritchie before England under-21 international Lottie Bingham doubled the advantage.

Barnes pulled one back with four minutes to go until half-time, through Lara Tegner from a penalty corner, despite Holcombe’s first-half dominance before Omar Shibli’s side found an equaliser with just seven minutes remaining from another penalty corner, this time captain Aleesa Ferguson the scorer.

It was a late penalty corner of their own that sealed the three points for Nick Bandurak’s side, however, with Phoebe Steele drag-flicking home with around a minute left on the clock in front of a busy terrace, the midfielder scoring her 12th goal of the season and almost certainly her most important.

Entry is free this coming Saturday at Holcombe Park for a 2pm start, with Holcombe’s men also in action at 6pm against Beeston.

Holcombe M1s suffered defeat in their first Premier Division Phase Three Pool A match on Saturday.

Hampstead & Westminster beat Barry Middleton’s side 1-0 courtesy of Jolyon Morgan’s third-quarter goal.

The visitors had goalkeeper Toby Reynolds-Cotterill to thank, the Great Britain and Wales international making a string of superb saves throughout the match to keep their clean sheet intact.

Holcs were unable to find a way to beat the goalkeeper, ending a run of five consecutive victories against Hampstead since the start of last season.

The defeat leaves Holcs’ hopes of qualifying for League Finals and therefore next season’s Euro Hockey League (EHL) hanging in the balance, as they now need to beat Beeston and likely win at league leaders Old Georgians on the final day.

Holcombe’s next opponents are Beeston, a side they beat 10-0 in Phase One.

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