Hockey: Holcombe see off Jersey threat

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The current leaders of the men’s national south division of the Slazenger England Hockey League, Holcombe fielded a strong team with international representatives including the lightning quick South African winger Denzil Dolley.

‘We were beaten by a class team,’ said Jersey captain Bill Aston.

‘These guys play in the equivalent of the championship week in week out.

It is very hard to come away and just switch on to playing such fast hockey.’ After going down 1-0 after five minutes, following some great individual skill from Dolley, Jersey worked tirelessly and soon matched the hosts’ fast pace.

Some good transfer play between Aston and youngster Peter Millar unfortunately came to nothing before the hosts went 2-0 up as a great save from Jersey keeper Jason Weber was rebounded into the net by Dolley.

‘Exceptional perseverance was shown by all, especially Dan Lundy working hard on the left to counter the continued threat of Dolley,’ added Aston whose team took a blow on the stroke of half time as their opponents converted a penalty corner with the last touch of the half.

‘I think we showed in the first half that we can play against teams of this standard and almost hold our own,’ explained Aston.

‘We were certainly disappointed to go into the break three down.’ The second half was tough for Jersey as they conceded an early goal and struggled to complete attacking moves with goals.

Holcombe then more than doubled their lead in a devastating ten minute period in which they converted every one of five opportunities for 9-0.

Jersey’s best chance of a goal came as a good cross by Tom Millar was met by Mike James whose driving reverse shot went fractionally wide.

With Holcombe converting another penalty corner, the full time whistle went for 10-0 and Aston said: ‘Their fitness told in the second half, but when you are not used to the speed of ball transfer these guys have it is bound to drain the legs.’ Stand-in manager Dominic Simpson added: ‘We can learn a lot from today’s game.

They took 90 per cent of their chances and we didn’t take any of ours.

This is less a slight on our team than praise for their guys, but it shows the standard required to play in the top tier of hockey.

‘To put it in context Holcombe are unbeaten in their league, averaging over five goals per game, that is the quality we were up against.’ Jersey squad: Jason Weber, Joe Crill, Bobby Minty, Simon Watling, Bradley Wherry, Dan Lundy, Arnou Helmholt-Kniesel, Bill Aston, Mark Dicker, Nathan Maguire, Luke Maguire, Tom Millar, Peter Millar, Mike James.

The Investec Jersey team will be back in action this weekend when they take on Marden Russets in the second round of the England Hockey Harrod Trophy.

Having received a bye in the first round, Jersey again travel to Kent for Sunday’s match against the Kent-Sussex South Regional league team.

‘With the level of hockey that the Jersey team have achieved so far this season they should go into this game with great confidence and if they can produce what they are capable of they should have a realistic chance of progressing,’ said coach Shelagh Herbert.

Squad: Garret O’Brien (GK), Dan Lundy, Dominic Simpson, Simon Watling, Bobby Minty, Bradley Wherry, Mark Dicker, Bill Aston, Stuart Ramskill, Nathan Maguire, Luke Maguire, Tom Millar, Peter Millar, Mike James, Robin Le Quesne.

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