Spalding Ladies claimed the East Division Two North West title after beating two City of Peterborough teams over the weekend.
Saturday’s (March 14) 2-1 over City’s first team at Bretton Gate was essentially the title decider, but Spalding beat City seconds 5-0 the following day to seal top spot mathematically.
A large crowd watched the game at Bretton Gate and were treated to a pulsating game of hockey. A big rivalry has developed between the two teams, but there is also plenty of respect.
Both teams went for the win from the first whistle and Spalding struck first when the pace of Katie Gray enabled her to set up her strike partner for a simple finish.
Tierney Augustine thought she had equalised soon afterwards, but after she’d popped the ball into the net the umpires brought play back and gave Spalding a free hit.
City did equalise early in the second-half when a powerful run from Claire Steels was followed by a precise cross which Nicole Duffin swept home.
But within seconds Gray broke clear and forced City ‘keeper Charlie Exton to concede a penalty stroke which Karen Timby converted.
The game continued to flow from end to end with Lyn Tancred hitting the post before Spalding could celebrate their title. Both teams had already sealed promotion to Division One North before this weekend.
City manager Lawrie Sullivan was gracious in defeat. He said: “Our plans worked in general, but you have to contain Spalding for 70 minutes to beat them and unfortunately we let get free on two occasions.
“Congratulations must go to Shaun Dewing (Spalding manager) for producing a well-drilled side who play to their strengths. Both sides play entertaining hocky though and deserve their places in the higher division next season.
City host their own second team this Saturday (March 21, 2.30pm) in their final game of the season.