If at first you don’t succeed…

Monday, 27th of February 2023
Posted by Lindum Hockey Club
If at first you don’t succeed… If at first you don’t succeed…

As the old adage says, if at first you don’t succeed, try again. And that is exactly what the Men’s 1st team did, becoming the first Lincolnshire side to reach National League as champions of the Yorkshire & North East Premier Division.

Following last season’s disappointing finale with a single defeat to Ben Rhydding in their penultimate league fixture, the team set out to continue their good run of form that ultimately wasn’t enough to secure the league title last time out. With 17 wins from 18 games, the latest coming against local rivals and basement side Brigg, coupled with a 1-0 defeat for Durham University 2 at Newcastle University, they have been crowned league champions, with the prize of a place in England Hockey Men’s National League Conference North for the 2023-24 season.

The only blemish on this season’s campaign came in the opener against newly-promoted Leeds Adel in a six-goal thriller. However, their league record since the beginning of the 2021-22 season is nothing short of remarkable, with 38 wins from 42 games, scoring 209 and conceding only 45 times. Leading the line this season with 22 goals is once again Ben Read, following his 28-goal haul last season, duly supported by Matthew Bell (16) and Jacob Barnes (13). Olly Carrick has also recorded six clean sheets behind a resolute defence.

The celebratory post-match beverages were well earned by the whole Lindum squad with smiles and cheers topping off a great season in front of a boisterous home crowd. And whilst the league title and promotion is a fantastic success, there are still four games remaining. Can they add gloss onto their title victory by remaining undefeated to the end?

Reflecting on this season’s success, Head Coach Matt Bell had this to say: “What a season it has been! After missing out last season, a lot of expectation sat on our shoulders. We often speak about keeping our standards high and that’s what the lads have done.” Continuing his praise for the team, “they have been together for a while now, with a few handy additions each season who have complimented our squad, helping us to reach our goal with four games to go. We will be using these games to work on changes for next season, and we look forward to challenging ourselves at National League level“. With regards to the support behind the scenes, Matt re-iterated that “the support from the club and committee has been amazing, and we look forward to celebrating as a club in the comings weeks and into next season with big crowds for the home fixtures“.

Captain Rob Johnstone was equally delighted, echoing Matt’s comments: “The season could not have been more perfect from start to finish. We can now breathe a sigh of relief that has been needed for much more than just this season“. The team’s mentality has been an important part of the success, with Rob adding: “We went through a lot of emotions at the end of last season and have kept looking forward, pushing ourselves harder and further each week to show the attitude of a team that was not just worthy of promotion, but deserving of a place in the league above!” In terms of his admiration for his teammates, he could “not be prouder of every single player in the squad who has shown commitment week in, week out, to earn promotion. Our group environment has continued to progress so that we can continue to show what we are capable of moving forward“.

Club chairman, Ben Smith, was also full of praise: “This is a fantastic result for the team who have come back stronger this season. To clinch the promotion with games still to play shows how much their hard work and dedication has paid off”. We should, of course, not understate the importance in relation to local hockey, “not only is this a land mark for Lindum but also a landmark for Lincolnshire. We couldn’t be prouder of what the team has achieved and look forward to seeing what next season brings”.

Remaining League Fixtures

Saturday 4 March 12.00 Leeds 3 vs Lindum

Saturday 11 March 13.30 Lindum vs Stockton

Saturday 18 March 13.30 Lindum vs Durham University 3

Saturday 25 March 13.15 Newcastle University v Lindum

2022-23 Scorers

22 Ben Read

16 Matthew Bell

13 Jacob Barnes

8 Sam Dixon

7 Mike White

4 Ross Booth, Rob Johnstone, James Niven, Matt Parker

3 Willow Mandil, Louie Sadler, Will Tyson

Yorkshire & North East Men’s Premier Division Table

P W D L GF GA GD Pts Max
Lindum 1 18 17 1 0 91 18 73 52 64
Durham University 2 17 10 4 3 43 27 16 34 49
Newcastle University 1 17 11 1 5 52 38 14 34 49
Whitley Bay & Tynemouth 1 17 11 1 5 49 40 9 34 49
Leeds Adel 1 18 9 2 7 60 46 14 29 41
Leeds 2 18 6 6 6 45 52 -7 24 36
Stockton 1 19 7 2 10 51 63 -12 23 32
City of York 1 17 6 2 9 49 56 -7 20 35
Harrogate 18 5 1 12 32 54 -22 16 28
Durham University 3 19 4 3 12 39 54 -15 15 24
Leeds 3 18 4 2 12 29 63 -34 14 26
Brigg 1 18 3 3 12 43 72 -29 12 24


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