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Sudbury Hockey Club Ladies I wrap up promotion and title but are now targeting an unbeaten season




Sudbury Ladies first team will make their return to the East League’s top division next season and as champions – but the champagne is on ice as they look to complete an unbeaten campaign.

The side, led by co-captains Kirsty Batch and Liv Greaves, have set themselves the challenge of avoiding defeat across their last three matches to fall in behind a special piece of club history.

Back in 2011 the men’s first team incredibly won all 22 of their league matches to win Division 3NE by 14 points.

Sudbury Ladies I hockey team who celebrated promotion and the East Women's League Division 1 North title at the weekend (30604638)
Sudbury Ladies I hockey team who celebrated promotion and the East Women's League Division 1 North title at the weekend (30604638)

The ladies cannot match that, having two draws in their 19 matches thus far, which is at a higher level in Division 1N, but they are still on course to equal the unbeaten tag.

Confirming their return to the East Women’s League’s Premier A with Saturday’s 3-0 success at Norwich Dragons I, they followed it up by clinching the title on Sunday in front of a decent crowd at Great Cornard by walloping City of Peterborough Ladies II 7-2.

Co-captain Batch said: “Obviously I am very happy and very proud but also we have got three games left and we have now set ourselves a challenge to go unbeaten.

Jess Baker in action for Sudbury Ladies I on the weekend they secured promotion and the title in East Women's Hockey League Division 1 NorthPicture: Kenny Molulton-Day(30605865)
Jess Baker in action for Sudbury Ladies I on the weekend they secured promotion and the title in East Women's Hockey League Division 1 NorthPicture: Kenny Molulton-Day(30605865)

“I think that the big celebration is if we achieve that in three games’ time.

“We are fully aware all three will be tough and no-one will make it easy for us.

“We drew with Cambridge City (III, 2nd) early in the season and they have chased us all season while the others are two local derbies (Bury St Edmunds I, 7th and Colchester I, 12th).”

Asked to pinpoint where the success had stemmed from, having had to stave off relegation before finishing mid-table last season,she said managing to get Paul Golding back as their coach this season was a key factor as well as bringing Daisy Palmer back from Ipswich and Sophie Stock in, who has National League experience with Chelmsford.

Of Golding, she said: “We just wanted him back because he is a good positive influence on us who getsthe best out of us.”

Chloe Hunnable took her goal tally to an incredible 43 goals so far this campaign with the first on Saturday followed by four of the seven on Sunday.

But Batch said they have been far from a one woman team with her absences still seeing big scorelines, such as the 8-1 at Wisbech.

Becky Spencer and Mai Easton were also on the scoresheet on Saturday while Greaves, Jess Jacobs and Hannah Treagust accounted for the other goals on Sunday.

The pursuit of an unbeaten campaign, which has so far seen 18 goals conceded in 19 games and 85 scored, continues for the side with the intriguing visit of second-placed Cambridge City III on Saturday (2pm).


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