The Berkhamsted & Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club men’s second team clinched promotion at the weekend – without even touching a ball.
Berko were due to take on Harpenden but they conceded the match, handing Berko the win and sealing the league title with four games still to play.
Meanwhile, the men’s first team also enjoyed a winning weekend as they bagged a 4-3 win in a difficult fixture at Shefford & Sandy.
Pete Allam bagged a brace, with James Barron and Oli Bowman also finding the net.
Elsewhere in the same division, two title challengers played each other with Stevenage losing to Hertford – throwing the second promotion spot wide open.
With four games to go, Berko play three of the bottom four in the league whereas the other challengers have big games against each other.
Berko’s next match is against the other promotion contender, West Herts, which could turn out to be a crucial clash in the battle for second place.
Elsewhere in the league, with the ladies’ teams pausing for half term, the remaining games in the men’s section included a stunning win for the fourths who beat Bishop’s Stortford 6-1.
Berkhamsted took control of the game from the start with wave after wave of attacks, and it didn’t take long for them to score their first goal with Will Alderson slotting the ball past the keeper.
However, this spurred Bishop’s Stortford into action and they quickly struck back as a result of some poor defending.
Not to be denied, Berko went back in front with a fine strike by 14-year-old James Godsell. Man of the match Alderson then notched his second to take Berkhamsted into half-time 3-1 up.
Berko continued to dominate the game in the second half but the weather suddenly turned for the worse, making it very difficult to play good hockey.
It was another 20 minutes before Berko scored again – a skilful reverse pass by Ben Moorhouse put Paul Whitby through on goal and he slotted home.
Berko were in complete control at this point and the pressure told in the last 10 minutes with two further goals.
Whitby got his second and then Moorhouse scored the last with a well-finished drag flick over the keeper’s head.
In action elsewhere, the third team were unlucky to draw 1-1 away against Rickmansworth, and the fifths lost 2-0 away against promotion challenging Broxbourne.
Amish Adodra got the goal for the thirds as he netted late on to cancel out an undeserved opener from Rickmansworth.
The draw keeps Berko two points above Rickmansworth in the league table.