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Division One status secured by Magpies’ men and women

ALL SMILES: Both the mens and womens teams were happy to retain a place in Division One
ALL SMILES: Both the mens and womens teams were happy to retain a place in Division One

Harleston Magpies have cemented their status in Division One of the Indoor Super 6s Championship, held over the last two weekends.

The men’s team, sponsored by Durrants, came an ‘impressive’ fourth while the women’s squad fought a valiant last-gasp relegation battle, coming out on top in their final must-win games to avoid demotion.

The men had a mixed first weekend in Nottingham — losing two but also winning one and drawing one — to leave them in fourth place, but only one point from the bottom with six teams chasing.

Men’s captain Andrew Bedwell said the pressure was on going into the second weekend at the UWE Centre of Sport in Bristol, with the squad aware of the danger of relegation if the results did not go their way.

The rallying cry from coach Tim Whiteman, a former GB and England international, did enough to see them secure two further wins and fourth spot.

Bedwell said: “It’s an absolutely great feeling. We were a bit disappointed after the first weekend, feeling the results didn’t go our way.

“So we were much happier with the second weekend. We showed we are more than capable of staying at this level, and now believe we can make it to the Premier Division too.

“We’ve been a yo-yo team in terms of our league position in the indoor competition, but we’ve stayed at this level for the past two seasons. It’s maybe time to try to kick on next year and aim even higher.”

He said the results also helped to keep up the profile of the hockey club, particularly among the junior sections.

“It keeps us playing at a high standard,” he said. “It’s great for the team too, who can learn and gain experience that will only help once you return to the league.”

Meanwhile, the women’s team travelled to Bristol for their first weekend of action.

Facing two outdoor Premier Division opponents and two more experienced sides, they lost all four contests to set up a tough second weekend of fixtures in Nottingham.

With their Division One status hanging by a thread, they lost their opening two matches to leave them fearing the worst. Although the league table did not look favourable with Magpies rooted to the bottom, it was apparent that two wins from their last two games would be enough to stay up.

And that’s exactly what they did.

Bedwell said: “What a fantastic response to a tough first weekend. We were keeping a close eye from Bristol. We’re so happy both teams did well.”

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