Hockey: Northern aim for double celebration

Blackburn Northern Men’s First XI who have won the North West Hockey League Division Four North title

Blackburn Northern Men’s First XI who have won the North West Hockey League Division Four North title

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

SENSATIONAL Blackburn Northern Hockey Club have clinched the North West Hockey League Division Four North title after winning all their games.

Now Northern aim to make it a famous league and cup double by adding the Lancashire Trophy to their growing silverware collection.

Blackburn lock horns with Lancaster University at Preston College on Sunday and defender Steve Palmer said: “Lifting the Lancs Cup would be an an amazing way to complete a fantastic season for Blackburn Northern.

“Everybody has worked so hard and to boast a 100 per cent record is a very special thing to achieve.

“I can’t praise them highly enough because everybody has contributed to this.”

Palmer, an ever-present this term, added: “It is a big task against Lancaster because they play two divisions higher, but we don’t fear them.

“We knocked Blackpool out in the semi-final, and they won the Division Three championship.”

Typically, Blackburn lifted the title in style – and with two games to spare. Needing a point to clinch promotion and claim the championship, Blackburn swamped Bolton Men's (Two) 11-1.

“We’ve scored 150 goals and only leaked a dozen and that's some record,” added Palmer.

With captain Paddy Higginson and Chris Rowell ruled out, Blackburn knew they would have to be at their best, but Dawid Wieczorek and Stuart Grant both fired hat-tricks as Northern powered their way to glory.

Wieczorek set the ball rolling, and it was all one-way traffic after that as Wieczorek netted twice more before half-time, with Stuart Grant and Rob Blackburn also on target Blackburn a 5-1 lead at the break.

Grant smashed Blackburn's sixth, and extra strikes from Julian Monk, Sam Clarke, and Grant, who completed his hat-trick with goal number nine, sent Blackburn into over drive. Garry Makin also got in on the act and Rob Blackburn finished the rout with his second goal.

Blackburn Ladies 3rd were also celebrating after winning promotion with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Lancaster and Morecambe.

Fiona Jackson, Jackie Ashley and Pauline Moorby scored the goals to sealed promotion.“The girls have been brilliant all season,” said skipper Ashley.

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