Champions! National title for Buckingham

Buckingham's players celebrate the victory. Photo/Chris & Cath Wedding Photography
Buckingham's players celebrate the victory. Photo/Chris & Cath Wedding Photography

Buckingham are national indoor hockey champions for the first time.

They beat Bowden Hightown 4-3 in the Jaffa Super 6s final to claim the title, having won a thriller 5-4 against East Grinstead in the semis.

Goals from Lottie Porter (2), Rebecca Arrowsmith and a winner in the final quarter from Abbie Brant secured the victory in the final and European hockey next season.

For Arrowsmith, who was crowned Player of the Finals, it was a memorable day.

She said: “It was just such an amazing and emotional day. For a small club like ours with such limited facilities and resources to do what the girls have done and to be playing in Europe next year is truly humbling and surreal.

“The girls were absolutely incredible. They performed superbly under the most intense pressure and deservedly created history in the process.

“As well as playing some superb indoor hockey, they demonstrated fantastic team work, resilience and belief as well as composure to come through two incredibly tight and tense games of indoor.

“Our travelling support was absolutely fantastic and the squad and I can’t thank them enough for getting behind the team. As for the girls, they are truly inspirational and myself and everyone at the club are so unbelievable proud of them and their achievement.”

Buckingham were runners up in 2019 but captain Alex Naughalty was thrilled to have gone one better.

She said: “We’re never expected to get anywhere, never expected to get to finals, but deep down we know what we are capable of. It’s credit to our coach Zak Jones as on the day we can beat anybody and there is so much trust.

“A few years ago we were down in the bottom leagues with about five players and no goalkeeper and that’s how we played it, but we keep getting better each year.”

See a match report from the final on page 37.