HOCKEY Exeter Uni win promotion to men's top flight

exeter university's CONOR CAPLAN celebrates promotion image courtesy & copyright DAVID KISSMANDevon has a new national Premier Division sports team.

Exeter University men’s first team bounced back from an opening defeat to beat Oxted 2-1 at University of Birmingham to win promotion to England Hockey’s 10 team top flight.

Two-goal Sam Hooper was the Exeter students’ hero as the greens topped the end of season Men’s Hockey Premier promotion play-off group despite losing their opening group game 2-1 in Nottingham just over a week ago.

Exeter fired themselves back into the promotion mix with a thumping 6-3 win over Sevenoaks, who are also promoted to the top flight.

Ed Matts, Max Heaver, Conor Caplan (pictured), Tom Watson, Tom Stevenson and Hooper scored against Sevenoaks.

Defender Hooper also scored against Nottingham University and finished the end of season four-team tournament as top scorer with four goals in three games.
Exeter University will represent Devon Hockey as the only South West side in the Men’s Hockey League top tier next season.

Exeter have twice played in the men's Premier Division before.

The region's sole Women's Hockey League top flight side are Bristol-based Clifton Robinsons.

Cheltenham have been relegated to the men's regional West of England & South Wales Hockey League following a 2-1 MHL relegation play-off defeat at Old Georgians.

The Gloucestershire side had taken a 1-0 second half lead through Tom Cole's 43rd minute penalty corner goal. OGs responded with two goals in a four minute spell with former Exeter University and England Under 21s ace Nick Cooper scoring the 64th minute winner.

Both teams had beaten Deeside Ramblers in the end of season round robin relegation play-offs. 

Bristol University regained promotion to the national league when they topped the West of England & South Wales Hockey League on goal difference from Plymouth Marjon.

Bristol University will play in Men's Conference West next season, only the second time they have competed in the national league.

They first won promotion to the national hockey league two years ago.

Bristol Uni men's 1s Ben Dudley has been nominated for England Hockey coach of the year after successfully leading the team to promotion while undergoing chemotherapy for
non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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