A National League Hockey Club, part of Holcombeians Sports Club

Match preview – W1s vs. Barnes (Division One South, 16th March, 2024)

By Lucas Ball

Holcombe are looking for a third straight Division One South victory as Nick Bandurak’s side welcome promotion rivals Barnes to Holcombe Park on Saturday afternoon (2pm).

Holcs scored 12 goals in two matches last weekend to move a point behind Barnes with two games to play – this weekend’s visitors also heading to table-toppers Surbiton 2s next weekend.

Those two big victories also returned Bandurak’s side to the top of the scoring charts, with 53 strikes in 16 matches giving Holcs an average of more than three goals per game.

Barnes are the third-highest-scorers in the league with 36 in 16, 10 behind Surbiton 2s. The visitors also sit third in the defensive standings, with 24 conceded compared to 20 for Sevenoaks and 23 for Surbiton 2s, with Holcs just a goal further back with 25 against in 16.

Omar Shibli’s side ran out 5-2 winners at Dukes Meadow in the reverse fixture in a disappointing afternoon for Holcombe as Barnes went 4-0 up inside the opening 23 minutes.

If Holcombe win, promotion would be in their own hands next weekend, just needing to beat relegation-threatened Wimbledon 2s at Holcombe Park. A win against Barnes followed by a draw against Wimbledon 2s would also likely be enough for an immediate Premier Division return given Holcs’ superior goal difference.

If Saturday’s match ends in a draw, a win for Barnes on the last day would seal promotion. A draw for Holcombe next time out could then be enough if Barnes lose to Surbiton 2s next weekend.

If Barnes take all three points, promotion would be secured for the London side, who also have three former Holcombe players in Maddie Pearce, Alice Huddlestone and Carolina Kappes.

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

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

12:30pm – Slough vs. Canterbury

12:30pm – Team Bath Buccaneers vs. Southgate

1:45pm – Surbiton 2s vs. Harleston Magpies

4:30pm – Sevenoaks vs. Wimbledon 2s

Image: Aaron Westgate