NESTON Hockey Club have secured a national title after their mixed team won the England Hockey Tier 2 National Knockout Championship Final.

Neston’s road to the final started back in November with victory over local rivals Oxton, followed by wins against Winnington Park, Golborne, Mansfield and Formby which saw them reach the semi-finals.

Drawn against Trojan Hockey Club, away in Southampton, the team faced a 500 mile round trip to book their place in the final. Played on Sunday, May 19, they came away with an emphatic victory beating the hosts 7-0 to reach the final.

On Saturday, June 8 they travelled to face Amersham & Chalfont Hockey Club mixed team, played at Southgate Hockey Club in North London. 

The squad of eight men and seven women made a five hour journey south on Saturday morning, ably driven by Sybil Leeman.

Captains Ollie Mills, Erin Kirkby and their team battled hard in a very competitive first half with both teams unable to find the back of the net. Neston came close on a few occasions but Amersham and Chalfont’s keeper kept them in the game.

After an inspirational half time team talk from coach, Emma Nokes, the second half started brightly with Neston applying the pressure and Martha Kerfoot smartly winning a penalty stroke.

Jack Cowley duly stepped up to the mark and found the top left corner of the net after sending the Amersham & Chalfont keeper the wrong way.

Four minutes later, Owen Stephenson scored Neston’s second goal with a rocket shot from the left of the D before Ollie Mills bagged a brace of goals from top D to give Neston a 4-0 lead.

A&C were now on the back foot but applied some pressure on the Neston goal where Liam Parry had been having a quiet time and were rewarded by taking the score to 4-1.

With just over eight minutes to go, Neston were awarded a penalty corner. James Gardiner’s drag flick was saved by the keeper, with the rebound falling to Gardiner who duly beat the keep to his right and Neston were 5-1 up. Whilst it was the men who chalked up the goals, the ladies worked tirelessly breaking up A&C’s attacks and stretching the defence to create numerous opportunities in front of goal with both Amber Richardson and Martha Kerfoot testing the A&C keeper, who pulled off some brilliant saves throughout the game.

Neston closed out the game and became Tier 2 champions for the first time in the club's history. Previous National honours were back in the 1990s when the Men's 1st team won the Division 2 league cup in 1990 and the U18 Girls Hockey team won the National U18 championship the following year.

After the game, Mills said: “A big thanks to all our supporters today, we were outnumbered on the side-line but you definitely were the loudest!

"The rowdy northerners were in town for sure, and we came away with the win!

"North vs South and the North wins - up the Shrimps!”

Membership of Neston Hockey Club is open to all ages and details can be found on the club’s website at