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Double triumph secures promotion
7:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in Sport
OLD Halesonians secured promotion from the MRHA West Midlands Premier with two wins last weekend.
The Wassell Grove side beat Tamworth 3-1 on Saturday, before winning 5-1 at Old Silhillians 24 hours later to guarantee a top-two finish in the MHRA West Midlands Premier Division.
Old Hales are nine points clear of third place with only two games to play.
Delighted manager David Butler said: “We’ve won seven games on the bounce and really done it in style.
“It’s unlikely we’ll catch Hampton-in-Arden in top spot but it is still a fantastic achievement and we’ve done it with a largely homegrown squad.
“Alex Fraser, the keeper, is the only player who hasn’t come through our youth system.”
Hales began Saturday’s game in an uncharacteristically nervy fashion and Fraser had to be alert to save two penalty corners.
But it was the hosts who finally made te breakthrough when Paul Woodall embarked on a winding run through the Tamworth defence before feeding Tom Bulteel to finish from close range.
His second arrived soon after, though in somewhat scrappy manner when after a defence splitting pass from player-coach Simon Palmer, Bulteel needed two attempts to force the ball past the keeper.
With a two-goal advantage, Hales upped the tempo in the second period and Chris Hill almost made it three, before setting up Paul Woodall who did find the net.
Tamworth managed a late consolation but Hales held out comfortably for the win which meant they needed only a point at Old Silhillians to guarantee promotion.
In the end they got all three with a superb display, taking the lead within a matter of minutes through Paul Harrold’s penalty corner and then scored three more before the break, with Hill bagging a brace and Bulteel also netting.
Old Silhillians came into the game in the second-half and pulled one back. But Hales defended stoutly and added a fifth on the counter, with Harry Hughes sweeping home from close range.
Old Hales will play next season in Midlands One and Butler is optimistic about their chances.