HOCKEY: Double delight

This Is Wiltshire: Devizes’ Roger Edwards (black) battles with Team Bath Buccaneers 4th’s Will Mainwaring during Saturday’s 5-3 win, which wrapped up promotion Devizes’ Roger Edwards (black) battles with Team Bath Buccaneers 4th’s Will Mainwaring during Saturday’s 5-3 win, which wrapped up promotion

DEVIZES are toasting a revival on two fronts after both their men’s and women’s first teams clinched promotion last weekend.

The men’s side reformed their first team last season after failing to win a game in the Premier One division of the Davis Wood League the previous year and on Saturday, clinched a second successive promotion with a 6-1 demolition of Team Bath Buccaneers C.

The men will move up to the Conference North division next season but also celebrating were their female counterparts, who secured the Wessex Division One title and promotion back into the East Division of the West Clubs League with a 5-3 win over runners-up Team Bath Buccaneers 4th.

Men’s player-coach Ollie Smith is daring to dream of a third promotion in a row for his side.

“We got promoted last year and we didn’t expect to do it again this time around. We were thinking that we might be good enough to finish in the top four but we didn’t expect to get back-to-back promotions, so why can’t we do it again?,” he said.

“I knew that we had a chance to do well after we dropped down the leagues because of the young players we had at the club and they’ve all done really well this year.

“It’s also nice that we’ve scored over 100 goals this year, in just 20 games.

“The number of goals you score isn’t something that you set a target for but it’s a big achievement for us and shows just how well we’ve played.”

Club chairman Victoria Smith, who also plays for the women’s first team, is delighted to see her whole club on the up.

She said: “This is my third year as chairman and this has been the best year for us since I’ve been in that role.

“The women have done really well to get back up after being relegated last year, especially since a lot of our players are 16 and 17-year-olds.

“The whole club is united at the moment – both the men and the women were out celebrating on Saturday night and we’ll be doing the same at our end of season dinner.

“We’ve also got a great family feel to the club right now because so many parents have been coming to watch us.”

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