A National League Hockey Club, part of Holcombeians Sports Club

Match preview – W1s vs. Harleston Magpies (Division One South, 24th February, 2024)

By Lucas Ball

Holcombe are looking to return to winning ways and extend their unbeaten run to six Division One South matches as Harleston Magpies visit Holcombe Park on Saturday (2pm).

The two sides last met in October, with Holcombe running out 6-1 winners courtesy of goals from Emma Bandurak (2), Deanna Ritchie (2), Lucy Whalley and Lottie Bingham. Laura Tibbenham scored the Magpies’ only goal.

Magpies, though, have been on an upwards trajectory in recent weeks, winning three out of their four matches since the Christmas break to move out of the relegation zone and up to sixth, three points above ninth-placed Team Bath Buccaneers.

Holcombe drew both matches in their double-header weekend last time out, 1-1 away to Slough and 2-2 at home to leaders Surbiton 2s, becoming the first time this season to come away from a game against Will Fulker’s side with any points.

Those results leave Holcombe two points above Barnes in second with five games to play. Barnes have faltered of late, with three defeats in four, including losses to Bath and the Magpies.

Harleston have scored exactly half the number of goals that Holcombe have, with 20 compared to 40 for Nick Bandurak’s side, the second-highest tally in the league. Meanwhile, Magpies have the joint-second-best defensive record in the bottom-half with 26 conceded, compared to Holcs’ 21.

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, 24th February):

12:00pm – Barnes vs. Southgate

12:00pm – Wimbledon 2s vs. Slough

1:15pm – Canterbury vs. Surbiton 2s

1:30pm – Sevenoaks vs. Team Bath Buccaneers

Image: Jon Goodall