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Rich Heywood and Craig Smith get braces as Bishop’s Stortford beat Cambridge University 7-0 to secure East Men’s Hockey League, Premier Division status

Rich Heywood and Craig Smith both bagged braces as Bishop’s Stortford beat Cambridge University 7-0 to secure their East Men’s League, Premier Division status in style.

The side have managed to get themselves clear of the five-slot relegation zone with a game to spare while their opponents remain in the mire.

The hosts quickly asserted their dominance as Tom Frenzel opened the scoring with a stunning reverse-stick strike after Jack Wheaton threw a precise aerial pass half the length of the pitch.

Stortford doubled their lead when a lightning-fast short corner resulted in Jack Wheaton netting with a drag flick from Adam Farley’s pass.

The subsequent goals lacked the same flair but were still highly effective as Heywood and Smith capitalised on defensive lapses to net tap-ins.

And the icing on the cake was applied by Matt Jackaman thanks to a composed finish.

The second team suffered a 4-2 defeat at champions Blueharts II in Division 2SW.

The fifth-placed visitors had the bare 11, but they started brightly and took the lead when Alex Kirton fired in his first goal of the campaign.

Blueharts piled on the pressure after the break as Stortford began to tire with no replacements to call upon and they turned things around with four goals.

The away side did not give up, however, and claimed a late consolation when Jeff Dummett converted a penalty stroke after his deflection from a penalty corner had hit a defender’s leg on the line.

In the same division, the fourth-from-bottom third team suffered a 9-2 home defeat at the hands of Stevenage.

The fourth team triumphed 9-1 at St Albans VII to remain 5SW title favourites with one game remaining.

They are ahead of second-placed Luton Town II on goal difference and three points clear of Hertford IV.

In the same division, the sixth-placed fifth team were on the end of a 5-0 home defeat against Southgate Adelaide II.

There was a 5-1 away victory for the fifth-placed sixth team at Southgate Adelaide III in 7SW.

Elliot Smith netted twice and was joined on the score sheet by Henry Lowe as the seventh team (development) beat Stevenage IV 3-0 in 8SW.

There were also outstanding performances from Albie Walton, James Jones and Tim Smith.

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