Vitality Women’s Hockey League Preview – 16 October 2021
Hampstead & Westminster travel to fourth-placed Buckingham as leaders of the Vitality Women’s Hockey League Premier Division with a six point advantage. Buckingham have been joint draw specialists with Clifton Robinsons this season with both teams drawing three of four games this season, When the teams met in the 2019-20 season, both matches were won by the away team with Hampstead & Westminster winning 1-0 at Buckingham after Buckingham had won 1-0 in central London.
Second-placed East Grinstead have a week off, with third-placed Wimbledon hoping to go second after their home match with eighth-placed Beeston. Wimbledon won 1-0 in Nottingham in their last match before the 2020-21 season was curtailed and face a Beeston team which started with a 2-1 home win against Holcombe, but stuttered to successive defeats at Surbiton (0-2) and at home to East Grinstead (1-2).
Fifth-placed Surbiton will be disappointed to have dropped points at home to Buckingham in a 2-2 draw last weekend and will travel to sixth-placed the University of Birmingham with the intention of returning with all three points. Surbiton have generally done well in the West Midlands, although they did lose on two successive excursions in 2017 and 2019. Having won their last two games in Birmingham, including a 3-0 win in October 2020, Surbiton will be aiming for a hat-trick of victories.
Seventh-placed Clifton Robinsons and tenth-placed Swansea meet in Wales with both teams winless so far this season. Clifton won 3-0 last season, but Swansea earned their first-ever Premier Division point in a 1-1 home draw with Buckingham on the opening day of the season.
Loughborough Students begin their home campaign against Holcombe this week and are playing catch-up after having their home game against Wimbledon postponed and a bye week last weekend. They find themselves bottom of the table after a 4-1 defeat at East Grinstead and a 1-0 loss at Buckingham but face a Holcombe team which have struggled to find their form this season, drawing both their home games against Clifton Robinsons and the University of Birmingham. Both teams will want to use the match to pull away from the bottom of the table. Holcombe are yet to beat Loughborough Students in three Premier Division encounters, having lost twice after drawing the teams’ first meeting.