Fixture > Division 1
Date > Saturday 11 January & Sunday 12 January
Result > Runners up
Venue > UWE Frenchay
Team Bath Buccaneers gained promotion to the top flight of England Hockey’s Maxi5’s indoor competition at UWE this weekend. The promotion completes a remarkable journey which has seen Buccs achieve four straight promotions in 13 months and will see them come up against Premier League powerhouses East Grinstead, Reading and Beeston. It also means they will have an opportunity to reach the coveted Maxi5’s finals night at Wembley Arena.
Buccs went into the weekend in 2nd place having registered wins in the previous weekend against Havant, Southgate and Brooklands. They started poorly on Saturday morning with a 10-7 defeat at the hands of Premier League outdoor side Cannock, but they soon found their form and illuminated the hall with some breath-taking indoor hockey.
They put 11 past Bournville on Saturday evening with Tim Davenport and Ben Stone both grabbing hat-tricks in an 11-5 win. On Sunday morning they took on Old Loughtonians and produced a fine performance, winning 10-8. This time Andrew Eversden was the hero, making a number of vital stops in his role as kicking-back to ensure Buccs held on to record the win. The Loughts victory meant Buccs went into their final game of the campaign needing a victory against another Premier League outdoor side, Hampstead + Westminster. Jon Williams’ side certainly didn’t disappoint, racing into a 4-0 lead thanks to another Davenport hat-trick and a Niklas Rieger effort. Ben Mackey, Will Seward and Stone then added their names to the score-sheet as Buccs ran out 9-3 winners to seal their promotion to the big stage.
Buccs captain and player-coach Tom Skinner congratulated his team on their efforts “This is a fantastic achievement. The squad has come so far in such a short space of time and it means the club will compete in a Premier Division for the first time in its history. We were delighted to have promoted to Division 1 in December, but to come here and play the way we have in this division has been unbelievable and will provide us with great confidence as we seek to do the same outdoors”.
Buccs resume their outdoor West Conference campaign in February, currently sitting in top spot in the division. They travel to Cardiff in their opening fixture before entertaining Exeter University the following week.
Indoor Squad – Tom Skinner (captain), Andrew Eversden, Tim Davenport, Josh Mardell, Will Seward, Jack Cropper, Jack Betenson, Ben Stone, Ben Mackey, Nik Rieger, Sam Hatherley, Mike Stride, Ed Horler, Shaun Matthews, Loic Cerulus, Freddie Everett. Jon Williams (Coach), Stuart Adam (Assistant Coach), David Horler (Manager), Richard Stone (Assistant Manager), Chris Jones (Analyst).