By Lucas Ball
Holcombe made it three consecutive Division One South wins at Sevenoaks on Saturday afternoon courtesy of first-quarter goals from Phoebe Steele and Catherine Ledesma.
Lily Elliott halved the deficit at the end of the third quarter but Nick Bandurak’s side were able to hold on for three points.
Quick link-up play between Emma Bandurak, Tilly Tillings and Ledesma won Holcombe a penalty corner inside the opening five minutes, Steele dispatching the drag-flick to give Holcs the lead and score her third in two matches, taking her tally to eight league goals this season, nine in all competitions.
Holcombe’s early dominance continued with occasional loose touches or inaccurate final-third passes leading to attacks breaking down.
Hannah Carney, making her second Division One South appearance of the season, was then twice denied by Meg James as Holcombe looked to double their advantage.
A few minutes later, Lottie Bingham beat two players before winning a free hit on the edge of the Sevenoaks circle, teeing up Ledesma who drove in and finished into the opposite corner on her reverse for her second Division One goal of the season.
Four consecutive penalty corners at the end of Q1 brought no further goals for the visitors, Harriet Pittard’s slap from the last just evading injector Deanna Ritchie’s stick on the back post.
Two more corners came in the second period with no reward before, on the stroke of half-time, Bethan Hodges squandered a good chance to make it 3-0 after a quick counter-attack involving Bingham and Ritchie.
Holcombe had a third ruled out early on in the second half from yet another penalty corner as Emma Bandurak’s hit found the net, rather than the backboard.
The third quarter saw little other action of note until Elliott’s powerful hit – from another penalty corner – was deflected off the number one runner and past Tilly Woodhead to give Sevenoaks hope.
Sevenoaks pushed for a late equaliser but Holcombe held on for a third straight win ahead of this weekend’s double-header away to Slough (Saturday, 12:30pm) and at home to Surbiton 2s (Sunday, 1:30pm).