Chirpy Chesterfield sealed promotion from Division Three of the Midland Men’s Hockey League with four games to spare after a 3-0 win over one of their main rivals, Streetly.
The victory gave them an eight-point cushion over third-placed Streetly, and although they remain four points behind the leaders, Telford and Wrekin, the title is still a possibility.
Captain Josh Brocklehurst said: “We have done fantastically well, especially as we lost four or five players at the start of the season.
“The young lads have stepped in brilliantly, while the older heads have kept the team grounded and calm. We now need to keep going and hope there’s another twist or turn in the title race.”
After stubborn first-half resistance from Streetly, Chesterfield dominated the second period, breaking the deadlock immediately when Joe Morton fired low into the net to end a trademark run.
Ten minutes later, Dan Molloy grabbed his 16th goal of the season with a terrific reaction-finish, and then Morton struck again, slamming home after a surging burst.
Chesterfield were rampant by now and should have had more goals with their incisive counter-attacking, often involving man-of-the-match Ryan Speed.
Cocah Christian Battye said: “After a tough summer when we lost some key players, we couldn’t have imagined being in this position with games to spare. I can’t overstate what an achievement it is.”