Record five promotions

A curtailed season saw the Old Cranleighan HC secure an unprecedented five promotions with the icing on the cake being the Men’s 1st XI winning the National League Western Conference at the first time of asking.

Their title seemed to be in the bag when they won at Bristol in mid March, a result which gave them an eight-point lead with one match remaining. But they then faced a six-week wait as England Hockey decided on how the unfinished leagues would be resolved. Their promotion was finally confirmed last week.

The other sides faced similar uncertainty before finding out their fates. The Ladies 1st XI gained promotion to Surrey Premier for the first time, while the Ladies 3rd XI also went up after a remarkable season which saw them take two points from their first five matches and then go unbeaten for the remaining 14.

There were also promotions for the Men’s 2nd XI – unbeaten since mid October – and 5th XI – unbeaten all campaign with a tantalising title decider against Sanderstead falling victim to the early end to the season.

“Last year was sensational for the club with the Men’s 1st XI re-writing the club’s history but to surpass that again this year is just incredible,” Helen Hawes, the Club captain, said. “The work ethic and time given over by the Men’s 1s to achieve not just promotion, a league title but also the double is something dreams are made of but very rarely achieved.

“Just as pleasing was the Ladies 1s’ promotion and again re-write the club’s history as they step into the Surrey Ladies Premier Division. It’s also great to see our first generation colts playing a huge part in the Ladies 3s’ promotion which was another objective of the ladies section this season. Then confirmation Tuesday of the Men’s 2s and Men’s 5s promotion was just so well deserved for both squads. With 5 senior promotions from 15 senior squads it has been quite a season”

“Well done and thank you to all that contributed to what has been a great season for OCHC.”