Hockey: Doncaster Ladies enter ‘pivotal’ stage of season

Doncaster Hockey Ladies first team. Back row (l-r) Hannah Rockcliffe, Charlotte Dodds, Sarah Thorpe, Kirstie Grace, Lauren Firth, Stephanie Longyon, Hannah Foy, Emily Walker. Front row (l-r) Alice Williams, Sian Howatson, Maddie Rojahn, Ellie O'Neil, Abigail O'Neil, Grace Holder, Rebecca Woods and Amelia Milton.
Doncaster Hockey Ladies first team. Back row (l-r) Hannah Rockcliffe, Charlotte Dodds, Sarah Thorpe, Kirstie Grace, Lauren Firth, Stephanie Longyon, Hannah Foy, Emily Walker. Front row (l-r) Alice Williams, Sian Howatson, Maddie Rojahn, Ellie O'Neil, Abigail O'Neil, Grace Holder, Rebecca Woods and Amelia Milton.
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Doncaster Hockey Club’s ladies are on course to return to the National League - but coach Andrew Gibson has warned his team they are now entering a pivotal phase of the season.

The Town Field club are second in the North League standings but top of the table Bowden 2s cannot be promoted.

Gibson’s side hope to emulate Doncaster’s men who were relegated from the National League in 2013 but bounced back at the first time of asking.

“If it stays as it is, we go up,” said Gibson.

“But the next few weeks are pivotal for us. We’ve got a tricky game at Timperley on Saturday and the following week we play Springfields who are third and two points behind us. That’s a really big game for us.”

Gibson took the coaching reins from Alan Stoves a year ago and says he is pleased with the progress his young squad is making.

“I’m really happy with how this season is going,” he said.

“We brought in six or seven new players and they’ve settled in quickly.

“In 2006 we were in the Premier League but what’s happened since then is we lost a generation of players and the team went into decline. Last season was a transitional period. Now we’ve got a new, young team and things have come together quite well, but we’ve still got plenty of work to do to gain promotion.”