A National League Hockey Club, part of Holcombeians Sports Club

Match preview – M1s vs. Hampstead & Westminster (Premier Division Phase Three Pool A, 16th March, 2024)

By Lucas Ball

Holcombe are looking for a third consecutive Premier Division win as Barry Middleton’s side welcome Hampstead & Westminster to Holcombe Park on Saturday evening (6pm).

Holcs signed off from Phase Two with back-to-back victories against Hampstead and Southgate following three straight defeats, though key players Nick Bandurak, Phil Roper, Hayden Phillips and Tom Russell all missed at least one match in Phase Two.

Finishing in fourth means Holcombe are in Pool A for Phase Three alongside the same teams as last season, with fixtures against Hampstead, Beeston and Old Georgians to come.

Two wins out of three will likely be enough to secure back-to-back appearances at League Finals weekend and another chance at qualifying for the Euro Hockey League (EHL), where Holcs were knocked out at the KO8 stage earlier this season.

Middleton’s side have won five consecutive matches against the Londoners since the start of last season, including winning 2-1 just two weekends ago at Holcombe Park courtesy of goals from Alex Pendle and Russell.

Pendle and penalty corner specialist Tim Guise-Brown will be hoping to continue their recent goalscoring form, with Pendle having scored in his last two matches and Guise-Brown scoring two drag-flicks in his last three matches.

Andrew Wilson’s side concluded their Phase Two campaign with a 3-0 home defeat to Surbiton, goals from Luke Taylor (2) and James Gall inflicting an eighth defeat of the campaign on the Londoners.

Wilson’s men finish Phase Two as the lowest scorers in the top-eight with 39, though Oxted and Beeston did face different opponents in Phase Two.

Their 40 goals conceded is the second-highest tally in the Top Six, only worsened by Southgate who have conceded 53 in 16.

Holcs, meanwhile, sit third in the scoring charts with 62 in 16 matches and are top of the defensive rankings with just 20 goals against in 16 matches.

Entry is free at Holcombe Park on Saturday and updates will be provided across Holcombe’s social media channels.

Other Premier Division fixtures (Saturday, 16th March, 2024):

Pool A:

6:00pm – Old Georgians vs. Beeston

Pool B:

Surbiton vs. Oxted

6:00pm – Wimbledon vs. Southgate


6:00pm – Cardiff & Met vs. Reading

6:00pm – East Grinstead vs. University of Nottingham

Image: Martin Waight