Jolly hockey sticks as Berko bag promotion

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HOCKEY: The Berkhamsted third XI have clinched promotion after a gutsy and well-deserved 5-2 win at Bedford.

Berko knew they needed a result if they were to climb up a division, and the side made a good start as Paul Whitby fed Mark Robinson to slot home.

Clearly buoyed by the opening goal, Berko began to dominate proceedings, with James Edwards, Alex Hardwicke and Hugo Graham taking the game by the scruff of the neck.

And it did not take Berko long to double their lead as Dom Johnson twisted and turned through the Bedford defence to set up Whitby to lash home.

Things got even better for Berko as Whitby added his second goal of the game to put his side 3-0 up, but Bedford responded well to pull a goal back.

The hosts were beginning to assert some sustained pressure on Matt Murray, Steve Thie and Jim Carlile in the Berkhamsted defence, but the trio stood firm and Paul Dubenskie struck at the other end to send the visitors into half-time with a 4-1 lead.

Bedford reshuffled after the interval and narrowed the Berko lead to two, but the visitors were not to be denied the win and sealed promotion with Robinson’s second strike of the game.

Elsewhere, the Berkhamsted first XI ended their season with a hard-fought 0-0 draw against league champions Blueharts 2s.