HOCKEY players from Bretforton are celebrating after being crowned national champions for a second time.

The Bretforton Ladies over-45s won having reached the finals of the England Hockey National Finals for the fourth time in five years.

This year's finals were held at Nottingham Hockey Centre and both teams met to do battle on a blisteringly hot day.

With both teams gunning for glory it was a well fought first half, with both sides creating chances.

Bretforton's mid-field was much the stronger however, and great team work saw the ball make its way to Deb Slatter who made no mistake with the finish to put Bret 1-0 up.

Spurred on by this, Bowdon fought back and made it 1 -1 shortly before half time.

Virtually from the push back, Tess Lewinton flew into the opposition D and unleashed a stunning strike into the top corner of the net.

The quality of the strike left Bowdon stumped and sensing this, Deb Slatter made the ball her own, snuck into the D, out-foxed the Bowdon keeper and slotted the next goal in to make it 3-1 to the pink ladies.

With still more than 30 minutes on the clock, Bretforton knew that they would be deluged in defence and this proved to be the case.

Bowdon pulled another goal back to make it 3-2 with ten minutes to go and also found the back of the net again, only for the goal to be disallowed to an earlier infringement.

Bretforton were defending like demons with Bowdon earning themselves many short corners – one of which was saved in the dying moments from a fierce near post shot by keeper Vicky Watkins.

Bret pulled through and – against all the odds – were crowned Champions for another year.

With the championships delayed due to Covid, Bretforton secured their place in this years final with a thumping 6–2 win over Sonning Legends.

A club spokeswoman said: "This couldn’t have been achieved without the unerring support of their management team and supporters. Without them the squad would never make it through these tournaments.

"Special mention must go to Sue Barker-Wheeler, Heather Carr, Marion Icke, Stuart Thatcher, Rebecca Denyer and Lynton Garner.

"And, of course, our very own number 11, the real reason that we play and get these results year after year.

"Thank you all so, so much."

Team: Lisa Workman (C), Vicky Watkins (GK), Dawn Thatcher, Julie Hall, Andrea Cole, Deb Slatter, Sophie Hamilton, Rosemary Logan, Tessa Lewinton, Dani Cox, Sam Witheford, Gilly Wright, Blanche Surman, Martine Verweij, Sarah Cook, Sylvia Thomas