By Lucas Ball
Holcombe made it six matches unbeaten and five wins in six as they beat Kent rivals Canterbury 7-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Goals from Leisa Randall (2), Deanna Ritchie (2), Jade van der Zwan, Catherine Ledesma and Lottie Bingham led Nick Bandurak’s side to a dominant victory as they returned to winning ways following last weekend’s 4-4 draw with Team Bath Buccaneers.
The tone of the game was set early on as Holcombe controlled possession from pushback, stepping forward superbly against their rivals in a first competitive meeting since Canterbury’s relegation from the Premier Division.
It took less than ten minutes for the hosts to take the lead as Leisa Randall deflected in from close range at a penalty corner from Marian Ledesma’s hit for her first league goal of the season and second in all competitions.
Bingham forced former Holcombe ‘keeper Aurora Mears into action minutes later before van der Zwan deflected Emma Bandurak’s slap in at another penalty corner for her second goal in as many matches.
Mears twice denied Phoebe Steele in quick succession early in the second quarter before two goals in a minute for Deanna Ritchie took Holcombe out of sight.
van der Zwan hit the post before half-time as Holcombe looked for another, but they went into the break four goals to the good.
Randall added her second midway through the third period as she spun in the circle and powerfully fired past the impressive Mears.
Catherine Ledesma added a sixth from close range with her first goal of the season with 10 minutes to play, though two minutes later Canterbury had a consolation. Tilly Woodhead saved the initial penalty corner effort but the rebound was put in.
Steele – searching for her third in as many matches – was once again denied by Mears with just over five minutes remaining, before Bingham scored in the last minute to make it 7-1.
Holcombe stay second in the Vitality Division One South table and are on the road this weekend against Barnes (12pm) at Dukes Meadow, while Canterbury stay fifth and return to Polo Farm this weekend to face Slough (1:15pm), the visitors just one point and one place below their hosts.