Salisbury Women’s 1st hockey team have secured promotion to Premier Division 1 of the South Central area leagues.

In a resounding home win last weekend against Winchester, Salisbury’s 4-0 victory rounded off the season and secured second place overall in the Division 2 table.

It follows their nail-bitingly close battle for points with top-of-the-table Wycombe in the closing weeks, and they knew that only a win against Winchester could secure promotion.

This year, the Salisbury first team has remained a confident frontrunner, winning a decisive 13 games of their 20 fixtures and seeing off teams from Slough to Portsmouth, Banbury to the New Forest and more.

Salisbury Journal:

The game on Saturday showed exactly what has maintained Salisbury’s leading position throughout the season.

From the first pushback, Salisbury appeared strong and in control of the game – with Millie Reeve, Kerry Jackson and Kate Parker holding midfield, and strikers Poppy Egerton and Clover Crosse looking threatening with purposeful attacks.

Early penalty corners yielded the first two goals, both struck by Kate Parker. By this point, Salisbury had comfortably found their pace and were unlucky not to go further ahead when just before half time a superb reverse stick strike flew into the top the net milliseconds after the umpire blew the whistle.

In the second half, Salisbury fought off a couple of dangerous attempts from Winchester, with Salisbury’s goal-keeper Louise Davidson making two high-class saves. Salisbury pushed on undeterred to secure another two goals late in the match – with a neat flick over the line by Nim Panesar followed soon after by a goal from Jenna Plank, to assure the victory. 

Salisbury Journal:

Jenna Whittle, 1st XI captain, said: “We are delighted with the final league result. It was pretty tense right up until the final game last weekend – we really needed those points to secure our promotion. But the team did it. And what makes it all the more rewarding is knowing how we’ve achieved this together.

"We’re not just a team, we’re family. We give up a lot of our spare time for our hockey – a sport that we’re all incredibly passionate about and committed to – and it makes you very close as a team as a result. Next season, we can expect the competition to be tougher still but we will definitely be taking this momentum forward with us through the summer and will be ready and waiting for the next challenge!”

With the 2022-2023 league season now over, Salisbury’s players have a few quieter months of hockey ahead, with friendlies and the more relaxed summer league to look forward to.  

The season restarts in September.