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Holcombe beat Hampstead & Westminster in the Men’s English Premier Division but the women’s team lose to Barnes in Vitality Women’s Division 1 South

Holcombe made it nine wins from a possible 11 in Phase One of the Premier Division with a statement 5-1 success over Hampstead & Westminster.

Saturday’s victory, which left Holcs third in the table, came courtesy of goals from Tim Guise-Brown (2), Nick Bandurak, Phil Roper and Tom Russell.

Phil Roper was among the goals in a win for Holcombe at the weekend Picture: Theresa Field
Phil Roper was among the goals in a win for Holcombe at the weekend Picture: Theresa Field

Reports by Lucas Ball

The London hosts started well, forcing an early save from FIH goalkeeper-of-the-year nominee Ollie Payne at a penalty corner but it was Barry Middleton’s side who opened the scoring in the first quarter.

Holcombe saw a penalty corner of their own stopped illegally on the line, giving top-scorer Bandurak the chance to add to his tally from the penalty spot. The England and Great Britain international made no mistake.

Three successive penalty corners followed soon after for Holcombe, the third finding its way into the goal courtesy of Guise-Brown against his brother’s, Matt Guise-Brown's, team.

Payne was again forced into action early in the second quarter before Guise-Brown scored again from a penalty corner after a neatly-worked variation.

Hampstead started to claw their way back into the game and saw another penalty corner effort saved by Payne before the rebound was stopped illegally on the line for another penalty stroke.

There was no mistake from the spot as Payne was denied a fifth clean sheet of the campaign.

Roper almost added an incredible solo goal following a mazy run down the left but the hosts’ goalkeeper was in the way once more.

The former Wimbledon man was not to be denied five minutes later, however, beating a number of defenders again before pushing home for Holcombe’s fourth.

The Londoners should have had a second early in the final period but Payne was in superb form once more to deny them from point-blank range.

Russell, already into double figures for the season alongside Bandurak and Roper, flicked a shot narrowly wide with a couple of minutes to play but there was no denying him a goal when a quick, flowing attack found Pendle in space, the Elite Development Programme linking up for Russell to slap home on the slide.

Holcombe’s fixtures for Phase Two - where they will only face their fellow top-six sides, are yet to be confirmed.

Holcombe Women up against Barnes Picture: Becci Woodhead
Holcombe Women up against Barnes Picture: Becci Woodhead

Holcombe Women’s six-match unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday afternoon as Nick Bandurak’s side were beaten 5-2 by fellow promotion-chasers Barnes.

Two former Holcombe players were involved for the hosts in Caroline Kappes and Maddie Pearce, the latter also getting on the scoresheet as Barnes leapfrogged Holcs into second, behind the only team left with a 100% record in the Vitality Division One South, Surbiton 2s.

Holcs headed into the game in confident mood after last weekend’s 7-1 demolition job against Kent rivals Canterbury but were soon pegged back, the hosts racing into a 4-0 inside 25 minutes.

New Zealand international Phoebe Steele pulled a goal back before the half-time break with her fourth of the season from a penalty corner to give Holcombe slim hopes of a comeback - all four of her goals so far this campaign have come from such set-pieces.

Bandurak’s side came out fighting in the second half, scoring early in the third quarter through a brilliant solo goal from Lottie Bingham - who will miss the next two league matches due to her selection for the Junior World Cup in Chile with England under-21s.

The hosts were holding on slightly as Holcombe moved back within two goals but the visitors couldn’t convert another chance before the end of the third period.

Any hopes of a late salvo were extinguished early in the final quarter, however, as Barnes added their fifth to seal the three points.

Holcombe face another away trip this weekend to face Wimbledon 2s at Raynes Park High School before playing their final Vitality Division One South match before Christmas at Holcombe Park against Southgate on December 2 (5pm).

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