Any faint hopes of promotion for the Sheffield University Bankers’ first XI were put to bed by results elsewhere, despite their 3-2 victory at Whitley Bay in the North Hockey League Premier Division.
The hosts had only lost at home once this season, but the Bankers ripped up the form book by racing into an early two-goal lead.
Drew Burkin, the player identified as having taken the Bankers to the next level this season, scored both goals - moving to 27 for the season in the process.
The hosts hit back and drew level at 2-2, but Matt Kettley was on home to convert one final chance and send the Bankers home with three points.
Though they were found wanting in the promotion race, the club feel that this season’s targets have been met and that next year may be a defining one in terms of making that step up to the national leagues.
Elsewhere, a James Cozens hat-trick helped the second team continue their wonderful form with a thumping 4-0 victory over North Shields at Goodwin.
The visitors were their usual high pressing selves, but were picked apart by the outstanding hosts who could have scored plenty more had they not been so profligate in front of goal.
Debutant Gavin Hasler finally broke the deadlock in the 16th minute, the Bankers easily opening up the visitors’ backline to score.
Ten minutes later it was two, Cozens converting, though the hosts will feel that they should have been four or five up by the break.
As a result of some strange officiating, the Bankers found themselves down to ten men on two separate occasions in the second half, but that was not enough to halt a rampant display.
The hosts were prepared to sit in and use their ability on the counter attack, and seven minutes into the half a scintillating break saw Cozens power home his second.
Wary of their one-man deficit, the Bankers settled on the counter-attacking tactic and, after numerous opportunities, they made it four.
Cozens ran in his third to ensure a special day for him and his side, a 4-0 victory summing up the gulf between the two teams.
It may be a case of what could have been in terms of the promotion race this campaign, but this end of season form must come as a boost heading into next year.
The Ladies’ second team’s trip to Hallam was a successful one, as they inflicted the first home defeat of the season on their local rivals and secured promotion in the process.
Skipper Millie Herbert spoke of her delight at the team’s 2-1 win, and second successive promotion, after the game.