Monday, June 24, 2024

Hockey Premier Division round-up: Teams move into top six formation

Swansea keeper stops Sarah Jones in goalmouth scramble PIC: IRFON BENNETT

By Cassie Worth

Swansea endured another tough start to life in the Women’s Premier Division with a 5-0 home defeat to Holcombe.

A day before Swansea was put into local lockdown, Holcombe’s Argentinian-born players came to the fore to inflict a heavy defeat on the club marking the first by a Welsh side to play at home in England’s top flight.

Argentinian duo Agueda Moroni Malgarejo and Ivana Pessina proved class acts for the Kent side, while the question now is whether Swansea’s next home game against Clifton on Oct 10 can go ahead.

Loughborough, who had edged Holcombe on the opening day, put in another classy performance to hold Surbiton to a 0-0 draw at home. The Students play Hampstead & Westminster this weekend.

“We would’ve lost this game last year, but our maturity is growing exponentially and we had some really good spells of possession,” said Loughborough coach Brett Holland.

“We learned a lot from our first season in the division last year and we’ve had a really good pre-season. We’ve retained a lot of our players so feel that this is a really special year for us.”

Elsewhere, Sophie Bray scored for the 15th time in 16 matches as East Grinstead ran out 3-0 winners over Beeston to top the table.

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Stat attack: Games since…

20 – Surbiton last lost away from home in March 2018 when they lost 5-4 at Hampstead & Westminster

77 – East Grinstead men ’s last no-score draw was at Hampstead & Westminster in Feb 2016

18 – East Grinstead women last failed to score at Holcombe in Sep 2019


In the men’s top flight, already there seems to be a formation of teams vying for early top six places.

Old Georgians were in rampant form, scoring eight past University of Durham. Sam Ward and James Carson both hit hat-tricks. The Durham outfit were playing their first match in the elite division after sitting out the opening weekend.

Ben Boon bagged a brace – and Luke Taylor kept up his scoring form – as Surbiton made it two wins from two with a 5-2 win at Beeston.

Meanwhile East Grinstead matched their women counterparts to start the season in fine form. Louis Gittens scored a goal in each half as they beat University of Exeter 6-2 on the road.

Holcombe are also on maximum points and showed great resolve to come back from a goal down to beat Oxted 3-1. Tim Guise-Brown tucked home from a penalty corner on the half-hour mark but Sam Hooper soon had Holcombe level when he also converted from a penalty corner.

Hooper was on the mark again on 52 minutes and Barry Middleton increased the lead with three minutes left on the clock.

Wimbledon claimed their first win of the season as a goal apiece from Liam Ansell and Phil Roper helped them to a 4-1 defeat of Brooklands Manchester University.

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