Spartans Clinch New EHL Division One Place
By Chris Atkinson
Superb display by the Spartans to end a successful season.
Swansea City 5 v 0 Oxford Hawks
Swansea went into the final game of the season knowing that a win was going to be needed in order to secure a top 6 finish ahead next season's league restructure.
Swansea started with great intensity and dominated possession in the early stages with the forward unit looking dangerous in the attacking 25. Although the Spartans were unable to convert some early chances the deadlock was eventually broken when SJ Thorburn converted expertly on reverse following a rebound from a short corner on 13 Minutes.
Oxford Hawks struggled to find a foot hold in the game and it didn't take long for Swansea to find a second when Amy Burton glanced the ball into the net on 28 minutes and a well taken finish by Beth Fisher after 33 minutes made it 3-0 before half-time.
Half time 3-0
Swansea continued to create chances and played some great flowing hockey during the 2nd half with Oxford Hawks only forcing a solitary save from Jana Pacyna in the Swansea goal. Goals from Livvy Hoskins (44) and Izzy Webb (48) both came from some excellent build up play and some clinical finishing in the D.
Final score Swansea City 5 - 0 Oxford Hawks.
Swansea finish 4th in the league which is a fantastic achievement after what has been a rollercoaster of a season in terms of form. The talent within the team has never been in doubt though and a place in one of two new EHL Division One Leagues next season is no more than the team deserve.
The Spartans now look forward to competing at Euro Hockey Challenge 2 in Vienna, Austria in June.
Reporter Carys Hopkins
Quote from coach Toby Nichols
I wanted to say a big thank you for all the hard work this season. Saturday was a great result and demonstrated our ability and competence to play at the higher level, we should all be proud. Our actions over the last 6 weeks say a lot about the groups character and resilience.
Quote from secretary Anita Atkinson on behalf of the Swansea City Spartans Executive
The level of commitment needed to perform consistently well in this league should not be under estimated. This season has been particularly competitive with all teams strengthening their squads in a determined effort to earn a place in one of the two new EHL Division One Leagues, which will sit above the Conference Leagues in the restructured league system for the 2019-20 season.
Long standing coach Toby Nichols has been able to create the ethos required and the squad has committed to the considerable sacrifices required. Many thanks to Toby and the squad and our loyal supporters some whom have many miles under their belt.
Providing effective back-up/support in terms of finance, hospitality and administration has also been considerable and on the hospitality side of things the five volunteers are pleased to be award first place in the NPUA Women’s section again this year.