Holcombe battled back from behind to beat Beeston 2-1 in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday, with new signings Sam Quek and Nic White scoring the crucial goals.
The ambitious Kent side went behind to an Erica Sanders goal on 21 minutes, but they fought back with Samantha Quek, signed from Reading in the summer, rattling home from a penalty corner in the 50th minute.
With eight minutes left Nicola White, the England and GB ace who joined them from Leicester, struck from a set piece to win the match.
Clifton maintained their unbeaten record with a 3-3 draw at home to reigning champions Canterbury. Jo Leigh opened the scoring for the home side before Sarah Kerly replied for the visitors on the half hour.
Goals from Sarah Page, Chloe Palmer and Giselle Ansley fired Surbiton to the top of the league after a fine 3-1 win on the road to Leicester. Liz George levelled for Leicester after Page had given Surbiton the lead but they couldn’t hold on.
Dirkie Chamberlain then put Canterbury into the lead, but Aileen Davis and Zoe Leach restored the advantage for Clifton. However, with five minutes remaining Grace Balsdon pounced to snatch a point for her side.
There was another late equaliser in the 1-1 draw between mid-table rivals University of Birmingham and Bowdon Hightown.
Natalie Wray had given Bowdon the lead after 45 minutes but Anna Toman swept home from a penalty corner to level the scores with two minutes left.
Investec Women’s Conference East
A Zoe Burrell double kept East Grinstead at the head of the Investec Conference East table as they beat Harleston Magpies 2-0.
Maidenhead picked up their second win of the season after beating Wimbledon in a six-goal thriller. They won 4-2 with Edwina Westacott scoring twice. Claire Edgerley and Alex Teasdale were also on target for Maidenhead.
Bedford are still without a point after losing 2-0 to St Albans. Christine Horn and Eleanor Watton scored the goals that take St Albans up to third.
A single Jet van Zalen goal was the difference in the match between Sevenoaks and Horsham as Sevenoaks scored a narrow 1-0 win.
Investec Women’s Conference West
Slough have won all four of their Investec Conference West games this season and their latest victory was their biggest yet, a 7-1 defeat of Isca.
Jess Brooker led the scoring with a hat-trick and Amy Sheehan also looked sharp in front of goal, bagging a brace. Laura Puddle and Charly Brydon were also on target for the winners with Izzy Grigg netting the consolation for Isca.
Gloucester City are two points behind Slough in second spot and they enjoyed a comprehensive 4-1 victory over Olton and West Warwickshire as Zoe Burford scored twice.
Third-placed Oxford Hawks also won, beating Cheltenham 3-1. Lucy Stewart, Kate Hewitt and Caro Harris scored their goals.
Trojans played out a 2-2 draw with Swansea City and Stourport’s visit to Bristol Firebrands also ended 2-2.
Investec Women’s Conference North
Brooklands Poynton are still unbeaten in the Investec Conference North and were too strong for University of Durham on Saturday, beating them 4-2. Laura Evans was the hero for Brooklands, bagging a brace.
Wakefield are just a point behind the leaders and put four past Kendal with no reply to pick up three points. Heather Stafford struck twice to condemn struggling Kendal to their third defeat of the season.
Whitley Bay and Tynemouth took a point from their game against Loughborough Students in the dying moments as Bev Finlay made it 2-2 in the 67th minute.
Liverpool Sefton thought they’d done enough to beat Cannock after breaking the deadlock with just five minutes remaining but Lisa Heeley made it 1-1 for Cannock in the last minute.
Sutton Coldfield and Ben Rhydding also played out a competitive 2-2 draw. Rebecca Doherty hit two for Ben Rhydding.
Photo of Holcombe celebrating the winning goal against Beeston on Oct 4 2014 is by David Kissman.
Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, October 4 2014):
Investec Women’s Premier Division: Beeston 1, Holcombe 2; University of Birmingham 1, Bowdon Hightown 1; Clifton 3, Canterbury 3; Leicester 1, Surbiton 3.
Investec Women’s Conference East: Sevenoaks 1, Horsham 0; Bedford 0, St Albans 2; East Grinstead 2, Harleston Magpies 0; Maidenhead 4, Wimbledon 2.
Investec Women’s Conference North: Brooklands Poynton 4, University of Durham 2; Loughborough Students 2, Whitely Bay and Tynemouth 2; Liverpool Sefton 1, Cannock 1; Wakefield 4, Kendal 0; Sutton Coldfield 2, Ben Rhydding 2.
Investec Women’s Conference West: Trojans 2, Swansea City 2; Bristol Firebrands 2, Stourport 2; Isca 1, Slough 7; Gloucester City 4, Olton and West Warwicks 1; Cheltenham 1, Oxford Hawks 3.
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