Holcombe prepare to face league leaders

Holcombe's Harry Trusler takes a shot. Credit www.hockeyimages.co.uk - 450

After the drama of their Euro Hockey League exploits last weekend, there is no let-up for Holcombe as they face a tough clash with Men’s Hockey League Premier Division leaders Hampstead and Westminster on Saturday.

Having signed a raft of new faces in the summer, Hampstead are one of three teams who are unbeaten in the league, and top on goal difference. But a Holcombe win could see any one of five teams go top as the early Premier Division table continues to take shape.

“We were delighted with our performance in Europe last weekend,” said Holcombe president and first team manager Keith Martin. “It was just a shame that we were in such a tough group.

“We are at full strength for this weekend with the same 15 players, so we’re looking to continue to build on our form.

“With Hampstead having signed so many new players we’re never sure who we will be facing, and Kwan Browne is an excellent coach. But our coach Julian Halls is excellent too, so it should be a really good game.”

The team that beat Holcombe a fortnight ago, Wimbledon play host to Surbiton in Saturday evening’s other Premier Division match, with the division’s other games all on Sunday.

Third-placed Beeston entertain bottom of the table Canterbury, while East Grinstead will be looking to climb from their current position of fifth when they play Loughborough Students at Saint Hill Road.

Finally Reading – who clinched their first win last weekend – go to Brooklands MU in search of a second victory.

Leaders Southgate will be aiming to notch up win number five when they play host to a Wapping side who are still searching for their first win in the Men’s Conference East. And Sevenoaks – who trail Southgate on goal difference – head to Oxted on Sunday.

The only unbeaten side remaining in the Men’s Conference North, the University of Durham are at home against a Bowdon side who will be keen to keep their title aspirations on track.

Meanwhile, Preston and Doncaster could go top if the University of Durham slip up. Preston head to Cannock while Doncaster take on South Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Hallam.

Both unbeaten in the Men’s Conference West, third-placed Old Georgians entertain second-placed Cardiff & Met on Sunday. Elsewhere, leaders the University of Exeter are aiming to keep their 100 per cent record going at home against a Fareham outfit still looking for their first win.


* The above photograph shows Holcombe's Harry Trusler. Credit: hockeyimages.co.uk

FIXTURES – Saturday, October 15

Men’s Premier Division

Wimbledon v Surbiton 17:30
Holcombe v Hampstead and Westminster 18:00

Men’s Conference East
Southgate v Wapping 17:00

FIXTURES – Sunday, October 16

Men’s Premier Division
Beeston v Canterbury 14:00
Brooklands Manchester University v Reading 14:00
East Grinstead v Loughborough Students 14:00

Men’s Conference East
Oxted v Sevenoaks 12:45
Brighton and Hove v Cambridge City 13:00
Indian Gymkhana v Teddington 14:00
West Herts v Richmond 14:00

Men’s Conference North
Olton and West Warwicks v Oxton 13:30
Leek v Deeside Ramblers 14:00
Cannock v Preston 14:00
Doncaster v Sheffield Hallam 14:00
University of Durham v Bowdon 14:30

Men’s Conference West
University of Birmingham v Isca 12:30
University of Exeter v Fareham 13:00
University of Bristol v Cheltenham 13:00
Team Bath Buccaneers v Chichester 13:00
Old Georgians v Cardiff & Met 14:00