Despite a tremendous effort, Team Bath Buccaneers men’s firsts missed out on promotion to England Hockey League Premier Division on goal difference.
The team had already romped to the Conference West title, winning the title by 19 points to secure a place in the play-offs at Cannock at the weekend and with it the opportunity to gain a place in the Premier Division for the first time in their history.
Buccs got off to a terrific start, winning their opening game of the four-team round-robin contest with a 2-1 victory over Premier side Brooklands on Saturday. Brooklands went a goal up through David Seddon on 10 minutes, but Buccs scored twice in the last 10 minutes to secure the win, with Lewis Prosser netting on 61 minutes and Tim Davenport a minute later.
The next game was an enthralling encounter against Conference East champions Canterbury. The Kent side went a goal up after 12 minutes through Michael Farrer, but they could only hold on to the lead for a minute before Davenport levelled up. Davenport scored again just after the break to give Buccs a 2-1 lead.
Buccs were still ahead going into the last 10 minutes before Aaron Hudson scored on 63 and 65 minutes for the Kent side. Rich Bendry levelled up a minute later and both sides went in search of a winner But it Mickel Pierre who got it for Canterbury, scoring just four seconds from the final whistle.
Canterbury went on to clinch promotion by winning all three of their games. The other results meant that a point in Buccs game against Conference North champions Deeside Ramblers who have earned Buccs a place in the Premier Division alongside Canterbury.
Although started the game well with a disallowed early goal from Tim Davenport they were unable to overcome a resurgent Deeside; eventually losing 3-1, and missing out on the premiership on goal difference.
The result meant Brooklands retained their Premier Division status, with Buccs facing another season in Conference West.
After the game Keith Machin, Buccs manager said “Obviously this is not the result we wanted and the whole team are extremely disappointed. We need now to put this aside and celebrate what we have achieved. It has been a fantastic season winning the League by such a margin. The squad and the coaching team, led by Jody Paul, have put in a huge effort and should be proud of the success they have had.”
The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its TeamBath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.
Members of the media who require further information can contact the TeamBath Press Office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 383518 or 01225 443998 or see the TeamBath website at www.teambath.com
Posted: Wednesday 5 May 2010