Sam Ward delighted to move on from Rio Olympics heartbreak

by Mike Haymonds for the Daily Express
Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

SAM WARD banished the memory of Great Britain men's failure at the Rio Olympics by scoring twice in Holcombe's 3-2 win over Surbiton on the opening day of the English league season.

Holcombe were unbeaten as Premier league winners last season before falling at the Championship play-offs. But their league title still gave them entry to the EuroHockey League and a trip to Northern Ireland in two weeks' time. Rio Olympians George Pinner and Dan Fox also played on Saturday while Barry Middleton, Ashley Jackson and Iain Lewers were missing.

Ward, who will bid for a place at Tokyo 2020, said: "I took two weeks off after Rio but I'm enjoying playing club hockey again. The mood in the club is good and we aim to build momentum leading into Europe."

Wimbledon and Hampstead & Westminster made winning starts, beating Brooklands MU (4-1) and Canterbury (7-2) respectively.

Beijing and London Olympian James Tindall made an immediate impact by scoring three times in as many minutes to put newly promoted Old Georgians three up inside eight minutes and bagged a fourth in a 6-1 victory over Fareham.

In the Investec Women's League last season's Premier champions Surbiton drew 2-2 at Holcombe while University of Birmingham beat Bowdon Hightown 4-1.