L1 Host Holcombe On Saturday Afternoon
By Colin Pike
Surbiton Ladies host Holcombe in the Vitality Women's Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday (5 November), push back 4 pm.
Saturday is also Mizuno Day, "Championing Women In Sport"
Surbiton and Holcombe have both risen to the top flight of national league hockey relatively recently, with Surbiton having played their maiden season in 2012-13 and Holcombe joining in 2014-15.
Holcombe and Surbiton don't therefore have a long history of meetings compared with other clubs, however the matches have always been competitive even if the results have occasionally been one sided.
The first meeting at Sugden Road in March 2015 ended goalless, but eight months later, Surbiton won 4-0. In November 2016, Surbiton were once again dominant, winning 4-1, but in March 2018, Holcombe won for the only time at Sugden Road, 2-1 on a day when the Kent club completed the double in a men's and women's doubleheader, Holcombe men winning 4-3.
Since then, Surbiton have won both meetings: 2-0 in February 2019 and 2-1 in February 2020 which is the last time Holcombe visited Surbiton.
The teams didn't meet in the null and void 2020-21 season and with the structure of the season changing for 2021-22, there was only one meeting last season in Phase One, Surbiton winning 3-1 at Holcombe Park, Darcy Bourne, Meg Dowthwaite and Sophie Hamilton scoring for Surbiton; Tania Escaich netting for Holcombe.
Holcombe come to Surbiton in eighth place, having beaten Buckingham 3-1 at home, drawn 3-3 at home to Hampstead & Westminster and fought out a goalless draw with Reading at Sonning Lane. Holcombe lost 2-0 at Clifton Robinsons on the opening day of the season and have lost their last two matches: 3-1 at home to Beeston and 4-2 at East Grinstead.
Catherine Ledesma is Holcombe's leading goalscorer with three goals; Liza Giacomotti and Escaich both scoring twice with Hattie Jones and Freya Bull scoring once.
Surbiton have won their last two home games with a 4-0 margin either side of a 6-1 win at Buckingham and a 2-1 defeat at Wimbledon. The University of Nottingham lost on 8 October and last week, Reading were beaten after Surbiton stormed into a 3-0 half time lead.
Ten players have been on the scoresheet for Surbiton this season, as evidence of their attacking potential. Sophie Hamilton has scored five goals with last season's Premier Division leading goalscorer, Darcy Bourne on four. Giselle Ansley, Hannah Martin and Izzy Petter, who all returned to Surbiton this season have scored two apiece, as have former Holcombe players Alice Wills and Steph Elliott. Jess Dyson, who made her first team debut at Buckingham followed up her goal at Stowe School with a second of the campaign against Reading last Saturday.
Leah Wilkinson and Jenny O'Grady, who also scored her maiden goal at Buckingham, have both scored once.
Wimbledon, a point behind Surbiton are at home to Clifton Robinsons, who are proving to be inconsistent this season.
Beeston, who enjoyed a successful season last season, are two points off the top and travel to fifth placed East Grinstead.
Fourth placed Hampstead & Westminster, locked on eleven points with East Grinstead, visit the University of Birmingham.
There could be a shake-up in the bottom four places as Buckingham, currently four points adrift of Reading at the bottom of the table, go to tenth placed Loughborough Students and eleventh placed Reading go to ninth placed University of Nottingham.