Students celebrate their promotion to top flight
NOTTINGHAM University are back in the Midland Premier Division of the ENER-G League following their 8-4 victory at Burton that secured the Midland Division 1 champions' pennant.
Goals from Joe Warren (2), Ben James, Peter Small, Shiv Kapoor and a hat-trick of penalty corners from Chris Harden saw the students record their 15th win. So skipper Tom Anderson has done what his five predecessors failed to do, by leading his side back to the top flight for the first time since 2007.
South Nottingham recovered from conceding two early goals at home to Kings Heath Pickwick to lead 3-2 with open-play goals from Gareth Bland and Surinder Saini (2), only to concede a goal to the visitors and settle for a draw.
The two Midland Division 1 rivals met in a rearranged local derby at University Park on Sunday morning. Defenders Karamjit Singh and Jon Madeiros for South Nottingham and Tom Anderson and Ben James for the Varsity had fine matches. It was not until the 22nd minute that Tom Gibbs opened the scoring for the University, crashing the ball home with a rising reverse stick shot.
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Leading scorer Harden doubled the students' lead three minutes after the interval, which finally roused the visitors.
Joe Ashton failed to control the ball in front of an unguarded University goal. Then Alex Crabtree's run into the heart of the home defence ended with Surinder Saini scoring from close range.
South's counter-attacking paid off with six minutes left on the clock as Saini's cross found Crabtree in space on the edge of the circle and before he could be closed down his reverse stick shot was in the back of the net as South got a 2-2 draw.
Nottingham University: D Crowther, B James, T , Anderson, D J Singh, J Warren, W Bestwick, P Small, S Kapoor, T Gibb, N Barker, M Pierre, C Harden.
South Nottingham: F Sail, F Madeiros, K Singh, S Gallop, G Bland, J Hewitt. C Young, B Robinson, J Aston, S Saini, A Crabtree, N Wakeland.
West Bridgford moved a step closer to their first Midland title with their 16th Premier league victory, a 2-1 success at Stourport.
The Notts visitors took a tenth-minute lead through Sam Curtis but the relegation-threatened Worcestershire club equalised from a penalty corner.
Mark Richardson's goal three minutes before half time put the Black and Golds 2-1 up and it proved to be the winner as Bridgford failed to add to their lead. They now require a win from one of their last two matches to lift the trophy.
North Notts regained second place in the East Midland Premier Division, defeating and moving above promotion rivals Wellingborough with a 3-2 victory at the Manor Park Leisure Centre. The Blues had to take the lead three times through Jason Barton (2) and William Butler against their tenacious visitors.
Sikh Union (Nottingham) also enjoyed the better of a 3-2 scoreline at the Forest where Karam Sokhi, Harj Gataora and Navi Soar scored in their mid-table win over Leicester Thursday.
Nottingham's narrow 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Chesterfield leaves the Goosedale club with a visit to Wellingborough and a home game with bottom club Corby to move out of the drop zone.
Relegated Mansfield ran up their highest score of the season and gained revenge for November's 3-1 East Midland Division 1 defeat at Highfields with a 5-4 victory against Nottingham Players.
Newark won for the sixth time in seven matches, beating Atherstone Adders 3-0 at the Magnus School to climb to fourth place in the East Midland Division 2.
West Bridgford are the proud holders of the England Hockey 2nd XI Trophy and they booked their place in the final on May 5 with a dramatic penalty corner shoot-out semi-final win over Cambridge University at West Bridgford School.
Bridgford appeared to be heading out of the competition as they trailed 1-0 to a penalty corner goal with 12 minutes left.
A last-minute penalty corner strike from Sam Curtis took the tie into extra time, which failed to produce a goal and led to penalty strokes which were tied at 3-3 leading to a "sudden death" shoot-out.
Ben Doherty scored for Bridgford while his opposite number from Cambridge fired high and wide putting them into the final against Tulse Hill and Dulwich.
ENER-G Second Team League: Midland Premier: Beeston 8 Burton 3, West Bridgford 2 Olton and West Warwicks 4. Midland Division 1: Nottingham University 8 Stourport 0. East Midland Premier: Chesterfield 2 South Nottingham 1, Hampton-in-Arden 2 Nottingham 2, Melton 3 Boots 1. East Midland Div 1: Derby Asterdale 3 Newark 5, Nottingham Players 2 Leicester Westleigh 2, Wellingborough 11 Mansfield 0.
ENER-G Third Team League: Midland Premier: Barford Tigers 4 Beeston 2, Cannock 9 Nottingham University 0, Olton and West Warwicks 0 West Bridgford 1. East Midland Premier: Boots 6 Coventry and North Warwicks 1, North Notts 4 Burton 2, Nottingham 0 Warwick University 2. East Midland Div: Leicester West 2 Nottm Players 3, Nuneaton 2 South Nottm 4. East Mid Div 2: Newark 1 Old Silhillians 3.
ENER- G Central League: Midland Premier: Burton IV 2 West Bridgford V 5, Nottingham University IV 0 Beeston IV 2. East Midland Premier: Belper IV 4 Beeston V 3, Rugby & East Warwicks V 3 Boots IV 0. North East Div 1: Nottingham IV 5 North Notts IV 1, South Nottingham IV 0 West Bridgford VI 3, West Bridgford VIII 2 Burton V 1. South East Div 1: Beeston VI 3 Loughborough Town IV 0, West Bridgford VII 3 Northampton Saints VI 0. East Midland Div 2: North Notts V 1 Nottingham VI 1, Nottingham Players IV 3 West Bridgford IX 4, West Bridgford X 0 Leicester Westleigh IV 4.
Saturday's ENER-G Midland League fixtures
Midland Premier Division: West Bridgford v Sutton Coldfield
Midland Division 1: Melton v South Nottm, Nottingham University v Wolverhampton
East Mid Prem Div: Boots v Barton, Corby v North Notts, Derwent v Sikh Union (Nottm), Wellingborough v Nottingham
East Mid Div 1: Leicester University v Nottm Players, Ramgarhia v Mansfield
East Mid Div 2: Newark v Coalville Town