HOCKEY: AN Alsager schoolteacher is celebrating after helping Hightown Hockey Club to the League and Cup double.

Natalie Hannah is a PE teacher at Alsager High School and a regular in Hightown's Women's National Premier League line-up.

The club, which is based at Bowdon Cricket Club in Altrincham, secured the first part of the double by clinching the Premier Division title with a 3-0 win over their closest rivals, Chelmsford.

They followed that up with a 3-2 win over Fyffes Leicester in the National Cup final at Cannock last week.

'It has been a great season and a fantastic achievement for the club,' said Natalie, a former Worcester player.

'I play on the right-hand side of mid-field and I've managed to chip in with a few goals this season as well.

'I coach the girls' hockey teams at the high school and the club's achievements have generated a lot of interest among the girls. I've just taken the Year 9, 10 and 11 girls on a tour to Barcelona. They had been pestering me to take them abroad for a while and we finally got around to it!'

Hightown's achievements mean Natalie will be returning to Europe later in the year to play in the 2004/05 club competition.

Hightown's player-coach is Tina Cullen, the forward who was controversially dropped from the England team for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester two years ago and forced to retire from international hockey.

She scored twice in the 3-2 National Cup win, including the winning goal four minutes from time, and last month became the first woman to score over 200 goals in the National League - ironically, in the week that Great Britain failed to qualify for the Olympic Games.

The top six sides in the Premier Division will now play in the Premiership Tournament with Hightown meeting Chelmsford in their opening game at Canterbury on Sunday, April 25.

Natalie added: 'We've only lost twice this season and it would cap a marvellous season if we could win the treble!'