Chester 4 Lytham St Annes 3
AN afternoon of drama on the final day of the season saw Chester secure the league title and promotion.
Leaders Lytham St Annes were beaten at the Cheshire County Sports Club on Saturday, meaning Chester jumped above them and captured the North Hockey Men’s League Division Two (West) title.
It means they will also make the step up to Division One next season.
The hosts started strongly and took the lead with an excellent finish by Pete Evans, before Tom Warburton added two more with a fine strike and a perfectly weighted lift over the diving keeper.
Lytham stayed in the game and pulled one back to make it 3-1 at half-time.
Chester were threatened by their discipline at times and played nearly half the match with 10 men following a series of yellow card offences.
Lytham enjoyed some good possession at the start of the second half and pulled another goal back to make it 3-2.
But Chester fought back and were given an opportunity to extend their lead when a penalty stroke was awarded following a foul on Sean Blain by a Lytham defender.
The penalty was placed past the diving keeper by Huw Barrett to restore the two-goal advantage.
Lytham pushed on again and got another goal back to set up a nervous finish for the home side.
However, resolute defending and some excellent saves from Olly Church in the home goal helped them hang on.
A young Deeside Ramblers side are through to the Under 14s Boys National Championship.
They booked their place at the big Beeston event, to be held over the weekend of May 11-12, by winning the North Section Regional Cluster final staged at their Tarporley ground.
Hosts Ramblers beat Burton 1-0 and Beeston by the same scoreline, with both goals coming from Matthew Williams short corners, before Dan Verity (3), Harry Armitage, Rob Wray and Freddie Cheshire fired them to a crucial 6-0 success over Wakefield.
Deeside Ramblers’ championship-winning first team will receive the North League Premier Division trophy following their final game of the season at home to Whitley Bay and Tynemouth on Saturday (1.30pm).