Lancaster and Morecambe Hockey Club’s men’s first team are celebrating an historic fourth promotion in a row.
The district side were dramatic winners at Chapeltown Men’s 1st on Saturday, triumphing 7-6 on penalty flicks after their North Division 2 play-off had finished 3-3 at the end of extra-time.
The hosts, second in the East league, raced out of the blocks against LMHC, runners-up in the West division.
The Yorkshire side opened the scoring inside three minutes at Ben Rhydding Hockey Club in Ilkley thanks to some well-worked hockey.
A shocked Lancaster and Morecambe side were soon two goals down and then three with just 25 minutes on the clock.
The visitors showed signs of life before the break however with a shot into the D deflected home by a Chapeltown sticks with seconds remaining to make it 3-1 at the interval.
Ten minutes into the second half it was well and truly game on as striker Alex Davidson made a strong run towards goal, drawing the goalkeeper out before selflessly passing to Matt Lee who calmly placed the ball into the back of goal to reduce the arrears to one.
LMHC had plenty of momentum and kept pushing for an equaliser to take the game into extra-time.
After three consecutive short corners in the final 10 minutes of the game Lancaster and Morecambe found an equaliser, winger Tom Morgan firing home a drag flick from a well-worked set piece routine.
It was anyone’s game but a winner couldn’t be found and entered the extra period with a golden goal rule in place.
Both sides knew the next goal was the winner with LMHC looking the more likely in the first half of extra-time before Chapeltown turned the game on its head in the second and were awarded a penalty flick.
Luck was on Lancaster and Morecambe’s side however as what would have been the match-winning effort was missed with ‘keeper Mark Hutchinson standing tall as the game went to penalty flicks to decide who would be promoted to North Division 1.
All takers from both sides scored with Nick Davey, Tom Morgan, Rob Cook, Matt Hartnett and Michael Sambell on target for LMHC to make it 5-5 and take the game to sudden death.
Huthchinson was on hand to save a second of the day with vice-captain Davey keeping his cool to spark scenes of jubilation in the Lancaster and Morecambe camp as they moved to the highest level in the club’s history.
Captain Matt Wright said: “The incredible commitment of everyone to do with the first team, and the fantastic support of the entire club has been the key to our continued success.”