Havant suffer indoor agony

Laura Ryan in control for Fareham Ladies against Aldershot & Farnham. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Fareham pay penalty against University of Birmingham

Havant have been relegated from division one of the National Hockey Indoor Championships.

Peter Hatherley's side were consigned to the third tier of indoor hockey after a weekend to forget at Cocks Moor Wood Leisure Centre in Birmingham.

The locals had an eye on promotion to the premier division going into their four remaining fixtures.

A win, a draw and two defeats had Havant sitting in seventh place after the first round of four games.

However, hopes of a return to the top table of indoor hockey quickly diminished over the course of the weekend – despite a sterling 4-3 opening victory against Barford Tigers.

Coming out on top of that seven-goal thriller saw Havant leapfrog the previously sixth-placed Tigers and heighten the possibility of a dramatic push towards promotion.

But, unfortunately, things started to go sensationally wrong for the south-coast side as they crashed to a 7-2 defeat at the hands of Bournville – a side Havant beat 2-1 in Men's Conference West.

That meant Hatherley's men had conceded 27 goals in their opening six game – a statistic that didn't get any better when they faced Brooklands in their seventh game of the campaign.

Staying tight at the back was the gameplan going into the match, but Havant failed to hold out as they crashed to a 6-2 defeat.

Havant headed into their final game with mid-table Doncaster tied with Stourport – who they defeated 10-5 the previous week – on seven points.

Goal difference was expected to come into play at the end of two weeks of thrilling hockey.

However, that scenario never materialised as Havant endured a disappointing 8-4 loss, while the Midlanders ran out 4-2 winners over Harleston Magpies – the Norfolk side who finished second to eventual winners Sevenoaks.

The Kent side were deserved winners of the division one title, ending the campaign with six wins, one draw and one defeat from their eight games.

That was in stark contrast to Havant, who joined bottom-placed Team Bath Buccaneers in the relegation zone with only two wins and a draw to boast about from their winter exploits – three points from safety.

Havant recommence their outdoor programme on February 5 at Stourport.