A National League Hockey Club, part of Holcombeians Sports Club

Match report – Old Georgians 4-2 M1s (Premier Division Phase Three Pool A, 6th April, 2024)

By Lucas Ball

Holcombe missed out on qualification for League Finals weekend as Old Georgians ran out 4-2 winners in the final match of Phase Three of the Premier Division season.

The hosts took the lead on the half-hour mark through Liam Sanford before two quick goals from Alex Pendle and then Nick Bandurak gave Holcs a 2-1 lead at half-time.

OGs levelled through Henry Weir ten minutes into the third period before James Carson gave the Euro Hockey League (EHL) bronze medallists the lead at the end of the quarter.

Weir added his second of the match five minutes from time to make it nine points out of nine for OGs in Phase Three and ensure the champions have a chance at another title as Holcs’ wait for a win against Ashley Jackson’s side since 2020 continues.

Hampstead & Westminster join the Surrey side in qualifying for next weekend’s end of season showcase, along with Surbiton and Wimbledon from Pool B.

Old Georgians started with a very high press but chances were few and far between in the early exchanges, with the sole penalty corner – for the hosts – charged down by Rob Field.

Field then saw an effort fly just past the post early in Q2 before a penalty corner for Holcs was well-defended by the St. George’s College side initially to deny Bandurak before a follow-up reverse was fired over the bar.

Sanford then gave Jackson’s men the lead with an effort into the top-corner before Pendle quickly levelled the scores, finishing from the top of the circle from a Bandurak pass.

Bandurak converted a penalty stroke minutes later to give Holcombe a 2-1 lead on the cusp of half-time, the second time that they had led 2-1 in Weybridge this season.

Payne was forced into action early in Q3 before Weir converted from a penalty corner ten minutes into the second half to level the scores once more.

Old Georgians took advantage of a defensive mix-up at the end of the third quarter with Carson leaving Payne with no chance as the hosts hit the front.

Payne made another sharp save early on in the final quarter before OGs added a fourth from a controversial penalty corner with five minutes to play.

Holcs pressed forward late on with 11 outfielders having removed Payne, but could not find another goal despite camping in OGs’ defensive quarter.

The result means Holcombe’s season is over and they will now await details for next season’s Premier Division campaign, where they will take on Old Georgians, Hampstead & Westminster, Beeston, Surbiton, Wimbledon, Southgate, Oxted, East Grinstead, Cardiff & Met and newly-promoted sides Richmond and Bowdon.

Reading and the University of Nottingham have been relegated from the Premier Division.