WINCHESTER and Trojans go into Saturday’s South Hockey League Premier Division 2 derby at Kings’ (1.30) with a winning mindset.

Four straight victories have swept newly promoted Winchester into second place, one point behind Old Edwardians, while wins from their last three games has enabled Trojans to climb into fifth spot.

It’s all adding up to an intriguing and probably spicy derby between two clubs who, geographically, stand only 11 miles apart, writes Mike Vimpany.

Surprisingly, Saturday’s duel will be only the fifth derby meeting in recent years – Trojans having won three of the last four – because the clubs have been in different Regional Divisions. Winchester’s maintained their excellent form with a 3-2 victory over West Hampstead to take their unbeaten start to eight games, including four straight wins.

Things didn’t start brightly for the visitors, however, as Hampstead gained an early lead – a powerful James Chaffey drag flick from a penalty corner getting the better of Winchester’s promising teenage goalkeeper Rory McCallum.

It took a while for Winchester to find their stride, the cold and wet conditions making it difficult for either side to gain a foothold.

But they eventually equalised through a penalty corner of their own, hot-shot Kent Langridge converting his eighth goal of the season.

After the interval Winchester pinned Hampstead in their own 25 for long periods but with little reward, as the home side defended effectively.

Winchester finally took the lead when Tristan Marshall, welcomed back to the squad four days earlier, broke down the left flank and crossed for the inspirational Kieran Malloy to convert only his second goal of the season.

Winchester didn’t have long to wait for their third clinching goal as Langridge, driving through the middle of the park, crashed a ball into the D for Malloy to pick up his second of the game.

Hampstead briefly threatened a comeback: another penalty corner was initially saved by McCallum but fell kindly to Benji Knights Johnson, who made it 3-2.

Winchester were reduced to ten men in the closing stages, but the evergreen defensive combination of Chris Jackson and skipper Kevin Boniface kept West Hampstead at bay and ensured the visitors picked up their second away win of the season.