Bowdon Hightown, the 2018 English national champions, earned promotion to the top tier of European indoor hockey after a successful weekend in Vienna.
At the end of their three-day sojourn in Austria, Tina Cullen’s highly experienced side beat SK Slavia Prague 4-2 at the EHF EuroHockey Women’s Indoor Club Trophy.
Their win came nearly 10 years after they ended a 14-year wait for the national indoor title.
What an incredible few days in Vienna at the @eurohockeyorg B Division with @BowdonHightown Promotion secured ✅ Time to pack away the indoor stick for another year! Such great memories with great people. pic.twitter.com/rLeHby4mX7
— Sally Walton OLY (@sallywalton23) February 18, 2019
And five players all stood tall a decade on in Vienna: goalkeeper Kirsty Mackay, Michelle Liptrot, Cullen, Sam Quek and Sally Walton.
Their win meant that East Grinstead also benefited and will now represent England in next year’s tournament after lifting the Super 6s indoor title.
Bowdon only needed a draw against the Czech Republic outfit, but set out their stall early when Kayleigh Maw struck in the seventh minute.
Great anticipation from Maw to follow up and finish off the loose ball for Bowdons 4th! #EHI2019
— EuroHockey (@eurohockeyorg) February 17, 2019
Two Sally Walton penalty strokes before half-time kept Bowdon ahead, either side of a Natalie Novakova goal.
Walton nearly notched her hat-trick from open play with a lively run from deep before pushing just wide.
Maw then tucked into an unguarded net before a late Adela Lehovcova goal gave Prague some respite.
Their weekend resilience was underpinned on Saturday when they came from 2-0 down to beat Croatian side HAHK Mladost 5-2 as the English side finished second in their pool.