Davis Wood Hockey League: OPMs secure promotion at first attempt
OPMs have bounced back from last season's Davis Wood Hockey League disappointment to win promotion to Conference South.
Relegated at the end of last term, OPMs have not been outside the Southern One top two this season and on Saturday secured their promotion with a little help from their cross-city old boys' rivals PGSOB.
While OPMs were gaining another anticipated three points, courtesy of a 4-1 win at relegation-haunted Tavistock, PGSOB A upset Saturday morning league leaders East Devon 2-0 at Stonehouse thanks to goals from Brian Dannan and Gareth Harrison-Poole.
The results mean OPMs secure promotion and return to the top of the table, two points ahead of East Devon with two matches remaining.
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OPMs club captain Jason Sweby said: "We are delighted to have secured promotion immediately after last season's relegation.
"Whereas last year we couldn't even scrape a win, this season we have consistently picked up the results and used each performance to improve on the week before.
"We were brought back to earth when we lost 4-0 away at East Devon in mid-January, but since then we've not lost again and have earned our place at the top of the table. With two games left, it is all in our own hands to hold on to it."
Lewis Gunn-Colling, Ben Lock (2) and Ben Wilcox scored for OPMs at Tavistock.
They now face a Cornish challenge to their title aspirations with a top of the table home game against third-placed Penzance on Saturday and a trip to fourth-placed Truro A a week later.
Tavistock's defeat means they remain second from bottom, level on points with basement side Plymouth Marjon B, beaten 4-1 at home by Truro A.
Marjon B face a proverbial relegation six-pointer when they visit third from bottom Camborne School of Mines on Saturday, while Tavistock's penultimate match could not be more difficult as they travel to second-placed East Devon, who have only lost once at home this season.
Plymouth Marjon's first team will have to win at Bristol University on Saturday if they are to regain third spot in the Premiership despite an impressive six-match winning streak.
Plymouth beat seventh placed Taunton Vale 5-4 at UCP Marjon on Saturday thanks to goals from Dutch ace Guido Vaes (2), George Bissett (2) and skipper Simon Fenwick.
Plymouth led 3-1 at half-time and then 5-2 before two late Vale goals.
Bristol University edged a point ahead of Plymouth – with a match in hand – following a surprise 2-1 win at leaders University of Exeter A and then a big 16-2 home win over relegated basement side Whitchurch A on Sunday.
Fourth-placed Plymouth have two games remaining, third-place favourites Bristol three.
University of Plymouth soared back to second in Conference South following a comprehensive 6-0 win at Plymouth Marjon A.
Guy Craze (2), Matt Jakubeic, Dom Avis and Ben Copeland added to an own goal as the students swept back up to second and in contention for promotion to next season's Championship.
PGSOB slipped back to third – although only on goal difference – following a surprise 3-1 defeat at ninth-placed Taunton Vale A. Dan Vaughan scored for PGs.
Plymouth Marjon lost 2-1 at home to sixth-placed Yate in West Clubs Women's Hockey League Premier One.
In the South Division, third-placed Plym Valley won 2-0 at Mannamead and second-placed Caradon beat Cornish rivals Penzance 5-0 thanks to goals from Fleur Worden (3) and player of the match Bizzie Dinnis (2).
Plymouth Marjon 2 drew 1-1 at basement side Exe 3.
With three games to go Tavistock top Trelawney One by two points following a 7-0 home win over Bude 2, while second-placed Duchy won 2-1 at third-placed Plymouth University.