BOTH of Keynsham Hockey Club’s men’s teams have secured promotion after winning their respective divisions in England Hockey’s West Hockey League.
This is the first time both men’s teams have achieved this in the same season.
The first team narrowly missed out on promotion last season, but with the addition of some new players, they set their sights on topping their division.
After a bad start, with defeat in the first fixture, they picked themselves up to rebound against Old Bristolians HC, who later became their title rivals. This victory kick-started a run of nine straight wins which saw them score 60 goals and concede only nine.
Despite this, the team went into their last six games knowing that only perfection would get them promotion. Wins came one by one, and the final day of the season they headed to Mendip HC, who needed to win to avoid relegation.
A couple of early goals settled the nerves and after an attacking performance on a par with some of their best of the season, they ran out 10-3 winners and were Concorde Division 1 champions as a result of a significantly greater goal difference.
Next season they will play in Division 2 West against teams from as far as Bridgend and Swansea.
Overall they played 22, won 19, drew one and lost two, scoring 116 goals and conceding 23, and had eight clean sheets.
Captain Jon Day said: “We used 26 different players, including a debut for Dan Francis who, while he may only be 13, certainly didn’t look out of place and has a bright future ahead of him.”
The second team began their season with the hope of doing well, but in the end they too achieved promotion from Saxon Division 2 into Saxon Division 1, securing 15 victories, 92 goals, and three draws.
Ollie Rodway, second-team captain, said: “An integral part of our success has been the rapid progression of our younger players. They have shown tremendous improvement in their skills, fitness and understanding of the game.”
New club chair Katherine Sears said: “Both of our men’s teams have had a truly remarkable season.
“Watching all our teams, including our three ladies’ teams and our superb academy section, grow and develop is an incredibly rewarding experience for all of us.”
She added: “We always have space for new players. You can be any age from seven to 70 and start with no previous experience.
“Although we are currently playing matches in our summer season, our main season starts again in September. If you’d like to join us, please look at our website www.keynshamhockey.club”
Pictured, the triumphant men’s first team