A National League Hockey Club, part of Holcombeians Sports Club

W1s promoted as champions to Super 6s Premier Division

By Lucas Ball

Holcombe have been promoted as champions from the Super 6s Division One to the Premier Division following England Hockey’s decision to penalise Beeston for their inadvertent fielding of an ineligible player in their fixtures on the Saturday, 6th & Sunday, 7th January.

The matches in which the ineligible player played have been recorded as a 5-0 loss for Beeston instead of the results on the day, and points adjusted accordingly. No additional penalty will be applied.

This decision may be subject to an appeal.

Richard Lane’s side lost 5-3 to Beeston on the first weekend of Super 6s action so, as a result, have gained three points and seen their goal difference improve by seven, while Sutton Coldfield and Knole Park have both gained two points and seen their own respective goal differences improve by five after drawing with James Sordillo’s team.

Holcombe sat second bottom after the first weekend of action having also lost 2-1 to Knole Park and drawn 0-0 with Reading, surging up the table to fourth with four wins out of four at Polo Farm, Canterbury, on weekend two.

Lane’s team beat Wimbledon and Sevenoaks on Saturday, 13th January, both by a score of four goals to two before wins against then table-toppers Sutton Coldfield (4-3) and hosts Canterbury (7-1) on Sunday, 14th January.

Reading initially finished in second place but have been leapfrogged by both Holcombe and Sutton Coldfield, meaning the latter two sides have been promoted to the Super 6s Premier Division while Reading are set to remain in Division One.

There has been no change at the bottom of the table, with Canterbury relegated to Division Two while Beeston drop from first to sixth.

Holcombe and Sutton Coldfield will face Buckingham, Slough, East Grinstead, Surbiton, Guildford, Harleston Magpies and Repton in the Premier Division next season, with Bowdon Highton and Leicester City both relegated to Division One.

It means a return to Premier Division action in 2025 for Holcombe for the first time since 2022, when they were relegated alongside Wimbledon.

It will also be the first time that both Holcombe’s men and women’s side have been in the Super 6s Premier Division since the same year, with Barry Middleton’s side securing a sixth-placed finish that year ahead of securing survival on the final day of the 2024 Premier Division with a win against Surbiton.

Coach Lane commented: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have ended the indoor season as champions of Division One.

“The girls thoroughly deserved it, putting an outstanding second weekend of performances in.

“They grew with each game and played exceptionally.

“It is a pleasure to be a part of the group this talented group.”

Captain Harriet Pittard added: “It’s super exciting to get the promotion – it really is putting us, as a group, in the direction we set out for this year!

“The indoor group have worked really hard, with the first weekend being a real learning curve for us and then on the second weekend, we really took off as a group and made such huge progress!

“It means exciting times ahead for next year’s Premier Division Super 6s and we can’t wait!

“I’m very proud of the group and we couldn’t have done it without Laney, Kerry and Remy – great team effort all round!”

Manager Kerry Hodges said: “Wow, what a tournament!

“It was an absolute honour to manage and be part of the most amazing group of players!

“The final result is testament to their ability to adapt and never give up.”

Full table:

2Sutton Coldfield75021715
4Knole Park7403112

Both teams return to competitive outdoor action in the coming weeks with Holcombe’s women facing a home Division One South double-header with fixtures against Surbiton 2s and then Southgate at Holcombe Park on Saturday, 3rd and Sunday, 4th February (both 2pm) before Holcombe’s men get Phase 2 of their Premier Division campaign underway at St. George’s College against leaders Old Georgians on Saturday, 10th February (6pm).

Image: Becci Woodhead