HUDDERSFIELD Hockey Club wrapped up the Yorkshire Premier Hockey League title after completing a 3-0 victory over Ben Rhydding at Lockwood Park.
Needing only a single point to close out title rivals Lincoln, Huddersfield began in nervy fashion and in the early stages needed a man-of-the-match performance from keeper Paul Howarth to keep Ben Rhydding out with a string of good saves.
At the other end Huddersfield struggled to turn possession into chances as the tension led to some hasty passes, and the only clear-cut effort was created by a Gregory cross and a shot from Hirst which the keeper saved.
But they did take the lead before half-time, however, when Courtney won a short corner and Mark Swinden converted with a powerful reverse stick shot to give the Huddersfield players and supporters some relief.
After the break Huddersfield went in search of a second goal and the introduction of a partially-fit Jimmy Swinden gave Ben Rhydding plenty to worry about, and it was he who put the game beyond doubt when he was supplied a pass by Courtney and smashed it beyond the keeper, before then rounding the Rhydding stopper again and firing in from a tight angle for his 29th goal of the season.
Huddersfield had further chances, and although failing to add to their tally it didn’t matter as the final whistle was a signal for the celebrations to start.
It was a tremendous end to a tremendous season in which Huddersfield finished on top of the pile with the most wins, most goals scored and fewest goals conceded.
It has been a strong team effort this year with a well-deserved success to cap it off, and now they are looking forward to locking horns with the likes of Northumbria, Durham City and Gateshead in the North League next season.
Team: Howarth, Peachey, Swinden (M), Hannam, Kelly (R), Gregory, Swinden (J), Hirst, Courtney, Kaye, Robertson, Austerberry, Buckley.