The 21/22 season has been an incredible one for Witney Hockey Club. Three out of four of our Ladies teams are being promoted, the Ladies 1s won their first National League Conference West Season, and both our Men and Ladies teams finished in the top half of their tables.
The season culminated with an incredible blast at Witney Lakes organised by the wonderful Helen Backhouse, with great food, great drinks and great people. Below is the round up of each team's season. We can't wait to see everyone back in September but in the meantime, enjoy your rest players!
Our Ladies 1s went into this season fresh off promotion and into their debut National League season. With a strict training plan and amazing devotion by coach Chris Boyle, captain Katie Gatt and the team, the Ladies went into the season hoping to play amazing hockey against a high calibre of clubs. Little did they know that, in one of the tightest leagues around, they would achieve result after result and find themselves at the top of the league. This momentum carried through the season, the Ladies being unbeaten since their premiere match and scoring in every game.
The team have given their blood, sweat and tears and can say they WON National League Conference West; achieved 4 promotions in 5 years; and now go into National League Division 1, the second top tier league in the country. An incredible achievement by an outstanding group of players and coach, and made even more impressive by our humble Witney roots. The team are indebted to the fantastic support provided to them at every home game this year (and the dedicated group of travelling supporters - some who even made the long trip to Exeter!), and I'm sure you can all agree, the sideline at Witney Hockey Club has never been so full.
Coach's Player: Molly Larkin, sponsored by Ebbon Group
Player's Player: Abi Flory, sponsored by Pushstart Marketing
Top Goal Scorer: Abi Flory, sponsored by Pushstart Marketing
Martin Norton Award: Amy Williams, sponsored by David Williams Stonework
The Men 1s had a slightly rocky start to the season with multiple covid-delayed stag dos and weddings to contend with, and the team faced a few weeks at minimum playing capacity. But with younger players successfully stepping up, coach Neil Chilvers' swans song season and captain Thom Allinson at the helm, the team managed to pull their second half of the season together, finishing fifth place with some incredible performances spectated. More to come next season.
Coach's Player: Ben Kirk
Player's Player: Ben Kirk
Top Goal Scorer: Scott Summers
The Ladies 2s season kicked off with an incredible 4-0 win, but the following weeks provided a mix of results whilst they settled into the swing of the league restructure. Under the keen eye of Coach Abi Flory and captain Louise Mutton, the team began to build on their results, achieving an incredible 2nd place and promotion into South Central Division 2 North, and finishing with a 10-0 win at home!
Coach's Player: Hannah McShane
Player's Player: Hannah McShane
Top Goal Scorer: Izzy Kirby
Narrowly missing out on promotion this season by goal difference (there's not many teams with 52 points not winning their league!), the Men 2s have come a long way. With some incredible score lines and performances throughout the season, this team is one to watch as they go into next season with captain Justin Peel and coach Ryan Fitz-John and a crew of fantastic players.
Coach's Player: Jordan Dobinson
Player's Player: Tom McGrane
Top Goal Scorer: Alistair Cornah
In an incredibly tight top of the table, the Ladies 3s were just pipped to second place in their league on goal difference, having won 14 out of 18 games this season. Highlights include beating top of the league 5-1 at home! With coaching from Tom Dobson and captaining from Kirsty Morgan, this team are primed for promotion next year with an incredible base of players.
Coach's Player: Ellie Knobel
Player's Player: Maisy Regan
Top Goal Scorer: Julie Peachey and Kirsty Morgan
With some incredible results, including 8-0 and 9-2 wins, the Men 3s have had a stellar season. Despite a few player absences, captain Adam Gray, coach Ryan Fitz-John, interim manager Peter Wright and the guys have built on their team both on and off the pitch, creating an even more fun playing atmosphere for everyone. Coming 4th in their league and with a first full season for many of the juniors under their belt, we're excited to see where this group goes.
Coach's Player: James Grant
Player's Player: James Clark
Top Goal Scorer: James Merrill
The debut season for the Ladies 4s was an absolute knockout! Coming 2nd in their league and pulling results out the bag week in week out, they're being promoted into South Central Women's Division 3 Cherwell. For a first season this is an incredible achievement, and coach and manager Katie Gatt and Tori Larkin are immensely proud of the Ladies, supported by encouraging comments from umpires. One of three Ladies teams to be promoted this season, we couldn't be prouder of this new group of players.
Coach's Player: Emmi Yates
Player's Player: Laura Sargent
Top Goal Scorer: Katie Larkin