A National League Hockey Club, part of Holcombeians Sports Club

Match preview – Old Georgians vs. M1s (Premier Division Phase Three Pool A, 6th April, 2024)

By Lucas Ball

Holcombe travel to St. George’s College to face champions Old Georgians on Saturday evening (6pm), looking to secure a spot at League Finals weekend on Saturday, 13th and Sunday, 14th April.

If Hampstead & Westminster are victorious over Beeston, Holcombe have to win to stand a chance at qualification, the standings then coming down to goal difference.

Beeston have lost both Pool A matches so far but led three times at Old Georgians and forward Henry Croft remains a challenge for any backline.

If Hampstead draw or lose, a draw or win for Holcombe would be enough to finish in the top-two – while if both Hampstead and Holcombe lose, it would once again come down to goal difference.

Beeston are unlikely to qualify but could finish second with a win and a Holcombe defeat, though would be relying on a big goal difference swing.

Wimbledon and hosts Surbiton have already secured their League Finals weekend spots from Pool B. At the other end of the table, the University of Nottingham have already been relegated with either Reading or Cardiff & Met set to join them in being relegated to Division One for 2024/25.

Barry Middleton’s side have not beaten Old Georgians since 2020, but both games have been extremely close this season with Old Georgians winning by the odd goal at both Holcombe Park (1-2) and St. George’s College (3-2) in Phase One and Phase Two respectively.

Ashley Jackson’s side are coming off the back of three games in five days over the Easter weekend at the Euro Hockey League FINAL8, where they won a first-ever EHL medal after finishing third.

OGs beat Club Campo de Madrid in their quarter-final before losing to Pinoke in the semi-final. In the bronze medal match, Old Georgians won over German side Rot-Weiss Koln to secure third and just a third ever medal for an English team at the EHL after Reading and Surbiton won bronze in 2011 and 2022 respectively.

Two goals for Jackson’s side would bring up a century for their league campaign in just 19 matches, though they have conceded 11 more goals than Holcombe as well as nine and seven more than Surbiton and Wimbledon respectively.

Holcombe have scored 67 in their 18 matches to this point and still have the best defensive record across the Premier Division with just 23 goals against.

Former Holcombe player Sam Ward will miss the match with injury, though player-coach Jackson and goalkeeper George Pinner could face their former club on Saturday. Chris Bowen is also an assistant coach.

Other Premier Division fixtures:

Pool A:

6:00pm – Hampstead & Westminster vs. Beeston

Pool B:

6:00pm – Surbiton vs. Wimbledon

6:00pm – Southgate vs. Oxted


6:00pm – Reading vs. University of Nottingham

6:00pm – Cardiff & Met vs. East Grinstead

Image: Martin Waight