Hampstead & Westminster’s women too hot to handle, as man hit back for late point
- Credit: Archant
Hampstead & Westminster’s women proved too hot to handle for Holcombe in their Investec League Premier Division clash at Paddington Rec.
Having lost their top of the table clash with Surbiton, they saw Joie Leigh and Hayley Turner lead the way early on, as Lauren Turner won the first penalty corner of the match.
Sarah Robertson was denied by the keeper, but Hampstead took the lead when Joyce Esser converted on a pair of breakaway chances, the second from Annabelle Driver's superb pass.
Fran Tew fired home a third and also hit a post before half time, with Lily Owsley converting from a penalty corner on 46 minutes to m ake it 4-0.
Owsley added another breakaway goal, before Holcombe replied, and Esser completed her hat-trick with a penalty flick into the top corner.
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Esser claimed her fourth goal, tapping in at the far post to seal a resounding 7-1 win and maintain their hold on second place ahead of a visit from Loughborough Students for their last match before the winter break on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the men stuttered to rescue a point against their Holcombe rivals in the second half of the double header, after looking in control for much of the game.
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Hampstead opened the scoring through Rupert Shipperley in the first quarter and were enjoying the majority of possession but a sloppy mistake in the D gifted Holcombe an equaliser.
Matt Guise-Brown fired in a trademark short corner to make it 2-1, but the hosts switched off following a speculative ball into the D and Holcombe pounced to beat the onrushing Lekan Ogunlana and level again.
The second half was a more open affair and Hampstead capitalised on a long aerial ball from Guise-Brown to Toby Roche who duly won a penalty corner, which the South African international converted with an inch-perfect flick into the bottom left corner.
The visitors were not to be denied and applied pressure in the last 15 minutes, converting a swift counter attack through Nick Bandurak who fired in a corner of his own to make it 4-3 with five minutes remaining.
Hampstead took off goalkeeper Ogunlana to gamble with 11 outfield players and it paid off as Shipperley won a penalty stroke and player-coach Kwan Browne converted into the top left corner.
Hampstead visit Wimbledon in a must-win London derby on Saturday night as both teams chase leaders Surbiton.