Draw rounds off a superb campaign

Champions: The players and coaches of Derwent Firsts hockey team, who have been crowned champions of their division.
Champions: The players and coaches of Derwent Firsts hockey team, who have been crowned champions of their division.
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Derwent 1sts 2

Newark 2

In their last fixture of the season, Derwent were unable to reach the heights they have achieved throughout the course of their championship-winning season, coming away from a game against relegation-bound Newark with a 2-2 draw.

Facing a Newark side that had to gain three points to stand any chance of staying up, Derwent were immediately under pressure.

But with Simon Taylor returning to the side for the first time this season, he did a great job of turning the tide and getting Derwent back to playing in a controlled manner.

Derwent then turned this pressure into results when Steve Langrick slotted home his ninth goal of the season, after fantastic build-up play.

However, as recent weeks have shown, Derwent have become susceptible to relinquishing leads in games they should be dominating and so it proved again.

Newark duly got themselves back in to the game just before half-time, and then made their chances of survival become even more of a reality when they followed up with a second goal.

This left the Wirksworth side reeling and for a while discipline and tactics went out of the window as they fought to try and come back into the game.

It took the skills of Rich Wildgoose to get Derwent back on equal terms when he finished a fine move involving Dean Stevens and James Bolus.

Despite then having clear chances to wrap up the win, the Newark keeper was on fine form to deny the win and the points were shared.

Coach Heath Roberts was in reflective mood. “While I am overjoyed at winning the title, we have really struggled here today and played some poor hockey. I can’t be too hard on the lads as they have delivered so much this season, I just wanted to end such a great season with a final game to remember.

“There have been so many outstanding performances, when we look back and review how we’ve done, everyone can be really proud.”

Derwent, who started the season with 12 straight wins, finished with 48 points from their 20 games, 11 points clear of second-placed Leicester Thursday, who have one match left.