Friday, April 19, 2024

England Hockey leagues ups and downs confirmed

2023/24 season promotion and relegation confirmed in England Hockey’s leagues

University of Nottingham’s relegation from the Men’s Premier Division at the weekend confirmed the news that Stourport would be promoted to Division One North.

Stockport finished second in Conference Midlands after University of Nottingham 2’s finished three points clear of Stourport but were denied promotion as a club can only have one team in any division.

Lincoln side Lindum HC became the first team in Lincolnshire to reach England Hockey’s second tier. 

Lindum prevailed on the final day of the season against Wakefield 4-1 to secure promotion into Division One North. Belper finished bottom after 18 straight defeats.

Captain Rob Johnstone told reporters: “It’s difficult to sum up. We knew we were good enough this year, but people doubted us. We’ve proved them wrong and it’s by far my proudest moment in a Lindum shirt.”

University of Bristol won Men’s Conference East by an 11-point gap over Isca 1, with Plymouth Marjon relegated.

There’s more joy in the city as Bristol Firebrands won promotion from Women’s Conferece West to Division One next season after holding off Clifton Robinsons 2s. Firebrands beat Trojans to ensure promotion.

Repton finished three points clear of St Albans to secure the Women’s Conference Midlands title while Belper fell the same way as the men’s side and finished bottom.

And Guildford finished seven points clear of rivals London Wayfarers to win Women’s Conference East. They finished the season in fine style after a 4-0 win over Teddington.

In Conference North, Pendle Forest believe they will be the first Lancashire side ever to contest the highest level of regional hockey next season after ushering in promotion to Division One North. Brooklands Poynton are relegated.

Meanwhile, Pelicans, above, have returned to the East Men’s Premier League more than two decades.

The King’s Lynn-based club won promotion with two games to spare after a 4-1 victory at Spalding.

It gave them an unassailable 10-point gap at the top of the East Men’s Division 1 North standings.

Coach Sean Kerry said: “Elevating the men’s section to this league will help to retain and attract new players and of course the quality will continue to filter down throughout the teams, strengthening the legacy of this local club.

And it was a weekend to savour for Redditch HC’s men’s sides, with the 1s, 2s and 3s all becoming champions of their respective divisions.

Redditch’s youthful men’s third team secured promotion on the last day of the season with a memorable 3-2 win against league rivals Stourport.

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