History promotion for hockey champions Pendle Forest

​​Pendle Forest Hockey Club have been confirmed as Conference North champions and have been promoted to England Hockey's Division One North for 2024/25.
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Saturday's 3-0 home win over Durham University 2, combined with second-placed Leeds' defeat by Bowdon 2 the following day, left Forest nine points clear with two to play.

Fourth-placed Durham were well organised and the first quarter saw both sides play fast, attacking hockey.

Pendle Forest are England Hockey Women's Conference North champions Photo: STEVE HYAMSPendle Forest are England Hockey Women's Conference North champions Photo: STEVE HYAMS
Pendle Forest are England Hockey Women's Conference North champions Photo: STEVE HYAMS
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Twice Forest couldn't get on the end of crosses by Hannah Metcalf after her battling runs down the right and the quarter ended goalless.

The students pressed after the restart only for Steph Bedford to break clear, though the Durham goalkeeper won their one-on-one. The first goal soon arrived as Freya Bythall shot through the keeper's legs after Lisa Crewe and Metcalf had combined.

Forest held their 1-0 lead until half-time but lost Metcalf to injury when an opponent fell on top of her.

A skilful, physical Durham side edged their way forward but couldn't find an end product and Forest scored their second from a penalty corner.

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Crewe found the waiting Bythell, who placed her shot perfectly between goalkeeper and post.

And it was player of the match Bythell who sealed the win with her hat-trick goal, sweeping home powerfully after another penalty corner was played in by Crewe.

This is a proud and historic moment for the club, who believe they will be the first Lancashire side ever to contest the highest level of regionalised hockey next season– just one promotion from the national Premier Division.

The Bowdon side that beat Leeds will host Forest in their penultimate game on Saturday (3pm).

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Pendle Forest 2 were 2-0 winners over Lancaster 2 on a cold, wet and blustery day in North West Division Three North (Central).

Cath Harrison went close following a fantastic dribble straight from the pushback. This inspired her teammates, who pinned Lancaster back and Rachel Bradley pounced on a rebound for the opening goal.

Another break by player of the match Eleanor Boyden then enabled quick-thinking Lucy Daye to sweep home the second before half-time.

Becky Bell and stand-in goalkeeper Jane Lofthouse kept Lancaster at bay in a comfortable win for the fourth-placed side, who visit Lancaster Nomads this weekend (noon), while Pendle 3 host Garstang 4 (11.30).

It was a busy weekend for Boyden, who has also been named captain of Lancashire Under-15s.