Team Bath Buccaneers men’s hockey firsts are celebrating winning the England Hockey League Conference West trophy for the second time in three years.
The team were presented with the trophy after Saturday’s 3-1 win over the University of Birmingham on the Sitec Pitch at the University of Bath Sports Training Village.
They comfortably took the conference title this year, winning 15 and drawing one of the 17 fixtures they have played in the league to date.
Coach Jody Paul’s team have one game remaining – a trip to Whitchurch on Sunday (25 March). Whitchurch are the only side to have beaten Buccs in the league this year – winning in Bath on the opening day of the season.
After Sunday’s game Team Bath Buccs have the Promotion Tournament to look forward to – a round-robin play-off competition with the team finishing ninth in the Premier Division and the winners of Conference East and Conference North.
The team have never played in the Premier Division and two teams at the end of the promotion tournament progress to the top flight of English hockey.
Team Bath last won EHL Conference West in the 2009/10 season, but missed out on securing a place in the Premier Division.
The full line-up for the play-offs hasn’t yet been finalised, but Buccs will face some familiar foes – two of their opponents, Canterbury and Brooklands, both featured in the 2010 play-offs.
Canterbury have already won Conference East this season and Brooklands MU triumphed in Conference North, but the Premier Division team won’t be determined until this weekend.
The play-off fixtures are as follows:
– Saturday 31March 14:00 v Canterbury at Bisham Abbey (Marlow)
– Saturday 14 April 15.30 v Premier Div 9 at Cannock HC
– Sunday 15 April 13:00 v Brooklands MU at Cannock HC.
Meanwhile, the England Hockey Board have selected the University of Bath Sports Training Village as the base for part of the Bristol Junior Regional Performance Centre this summer.
This is the first time this level of the Standard Pathway Programme has come to Bath following the successful hosting one of the Avon Junior Academy Centres for the last two winter seasons on Friday evenings.
Players reaching JRPC’s are in line for selection for Wessex Leopards for the Futures cup in October and from there junior international selection. Having the centre locally will hopefully be an incentive for the Team Bath Buccaneers juniors to strive for selection.
Sunday 24 June
Saturday 30 June
Sunday 8 July
Saturday 23 June
Sunday 1 July
Saturday 7 July
For further information please contact the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Ltd on 01225 383518 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find out more about Team Bath at www.teambath.com , follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teambath or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/teambath
The University of Bath is The Sunday Times University of the Year 2011/12.
Photo: Kevin Bates/ The Bath Chronicle