Berkhamsted second team seal promotion in emphatic style

The Berkhamsted & Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club men's second XI
The Berkhamsted & Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club men's second XI

An excellent set of results saw the Berkhamsted & Hemel Hempstead Hockey Club men’s second XI clinch promotion at the weekend while all of the club’s other prospective promotion challenges continued.

At the beginning of the season, the second team had won just one of their first five games and sat close to bottom of the league. However, since then they have won all but two of their fixtures to be promoted with two games to spare.

This weekend’s game featured what looked like tricky visit from Bishop Stortford – the one team who still had an outside chance of catching Berko in the promotion chase.

In the initial exchanges, it soon became apparent that Berko were the stronger team and it didn’t take long for them to get the first goal on the board as Roger Payton volleyed the ball in the net.

Goals came at regular intervals throughout the game, with Payton picking up a second, Duncan Hodges notching a brace and Thomas Moorhouse adding one for good measure to seal promotion in empathic style.

Elsewhere, the men’s first team got their revenge over Royston by dominating the game and emerging as comfortable 3-1 winners – putting them just one win away from the league title.

The men’s third XI went to Potters Bar and won 7-0 in a friendly match after the league fixture was conceded by the hosts, while the men’s fourths are enjoying a strong end to the season with three wins on the spin.

This weekend’s 4-0 victory over Royston featured some brilliant play by the youngsters in the Berko side, with young James Godsell being awarded player of the match.

The men’s fifth side had a tight 0-0 draw against Welwyn, with youngsters Jonathan Below and Joseph Devey doing well for Berkhamsted.

Elsewhere, the ladies’ first XI played out a tight 1-1 draw against Chiltern, while the ladies’ thirds faced two games in as many days.

On Saturday they beat Hertford 1-0, with Molly Jarvis scoring the only goal and being named player of the match in the process. Then on Sunday, they made the journey to Stevenage where they won 2-0 with Sarah Groves scoring both goals.

The ladies’ seconds were also in action on Sunday where a 1-1 draw against league leaders Stevenage means Berko can be crowned league champions if they win their last two games. Player of the match was Anna Macklin who scored the only Berko goal.