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Coronavirus leads to Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club ladies having more titles and promotions confirmed

Bishop's Stortford ladies have had more titles and promotions confirmed without hitting a ball after the coronavirus crisis forced the hockey season to end early.

The first team had already been crowned Division 1S champions in the East Women's League and they can look forward to competing in the Premier Division for the first time in 26 years. Their one remaining match at home to Sevenoaks II will now not be played.

And the Five Counties Women's League has also declared its season over with league placements being decided by the percentage of points available to win.

It's been a fantastic season for the Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club ladies' section. Picture: Vikki Lince
It's been a fantastic season for the Bishop's Stortford Hockey Club ladies' section. Picture: Vikki Lince

It means the second team remain Premier Division champions and the thirds finish in third place in Division One, which is their highest position in the club's history.

The fourths have been confirmed as Division Two winners, the fifths as Division Four runners-up, which gives them promotion, and the sixths, also known as the Acolytes, as Division Five champions.

"This isn't necessarily the way we wanted to win the league for the fourths and sixths, however I strongly believe this was inevitable, if such a thing exists in sport," said club captain Richard Temple.

"To have a return of four titles and a promotion across our six teams is brilliant for our club, and the club only lost nine competitive games all season across the section.

"I am really proud of the Acolytes, which was only set up at the beginning of the year and was a combination of Back to Hockey lapsed players and young players making their first steps in adult hockey.

"I hope that the current crisis abates soon so that our players can resume playing and meet the new challenges for next season."

Elsewhere, the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause major disruption to the sporting calendar.

In football, Bishop's Stortford remain out of action in the BetVictor Isthmian League with matches currently postponed until at least April 3 while Stansted, Takeley and Sawbridgeworth Town are waiting to hear if the Essex Senior League will resume after it was suspended until April 30.

On the track, Stortford racer Ashley Sutton and former Bishop's Stortford College student Callum Ilott were hoping to be getting their Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship and Formula 2 campaigns respectively up and running.

But the first three BTCC events at Donington Park, Brands Hatch and Silverstone have been postponed, meaning the races at Thruxton on May 16-17 are the next scheduled ones.

And four of the first five Formula 2 rounds - Bahrain, Netherlands, Spain and Azerbaijan - have been postponed while Monaco has been cancelled. The sixth round in Austria is currently scheduled for July 3.

The forthcoming season also looks set to be hit for our cricket clubs in the Saracens Hertfordshire League and the new Tees Herts & Essex Border League.

The ECB has "with sadness and reluctance" suspended all forms of recreational cricket which extends to "training, pre-season friendlies and any associated cricket activity".

The first league matches in the Saracens competition are due to begin on May 9. The league has cancelled its captains' meeting on April 21.

The border league was originally getting under way on May 2. Chairman David Brown said: "Essex Cricket have arranged a conference call to all leagues in the county for the evening of March 31. The spring meeting, due on April 20, has been cancelled."

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