Vitality Women’s Hockey League Preview – 6/7 November 2021
Buckingham and Holcombe meet at Stowe School, with Holcombe needing a win to have any hope of finishing in the top six. Holcombe are still without a win this season and their recent form has seen them fail to score in four of their last five games. Buckingham, after going unbeaten in their first four games, have lost the last two, following a frustrating 4-3 home defeat at the hands of Hampstead & Westminster with a 4-0 loss at Beeston last weekend.
Leaders Hampstead & Westminster are at home to Beeston as they aim to at least maintain their nine point lead at the top of the Vitality Women’s Hockey League Premier Division. Hampstead have won all three previous Premier Division meetings with the Nottingham club, including a 4-0 win at home in March 2020.
East Grinstead and Wimbledon will battle on Saturday to try and keep pace with Hampstead, whilst Wimbledon have a weekend double-header as they play their rearranged game with Loughborough Students, originally scheduled at Loughborough, now switched to Raynes Park High School on Sunday.
Wimbledon will face both opponents for the first time in the Premier Division, having last met East Grinstead in the Conference East in 2014-15. Wimbledon’s last match-up with Loughborough goes back even further, back to the 2005-06 season when both teams were in the old Division One.
Loughborough are at home to Swansea on Saturday and face their Welsh opponents for the first time ever in the national league. Both teams will want to find some form with Loughborough only having a 1-0 win over Holcombe in five matches and Swansea having drawn at home to Buckingham on the opening day before losing the next five games.
It’s the turn of third-placed Surbiton to have a bye week, and Clifton Robinsons can go level on points with the reigning champions with a home win over the University of Birmingham, but will have to go against the formbook, Birmingham having won on four of their last five visits to Bristol, including a 2-1 win in February 2020. The West Midlands club will also be hoping to move into the top six.