Belper Hockey Club ladies have one hand on the title

Sally Goodman completes her hat-trick against North Staffs. Pic by Terry Fletcher
Sally Goodman completes her hat-trick against North Staffs. Pic by Terry Fletcher

Belper Hockey Club ladies need just one point to be crowned Midlands Premier Division champions.

They moved to within touching distance of the title after a 5-3 away win at North Staffs at the weekend.

Coach Tom Sherratt again included three products from the club’s academy in his matchday squad.

And one of these, winger Helena Skinner, put Belper into the lead after 14 minutes.

The lead lasted just eight minutes as the home side fashioned an equaliser.

But Belper made it 2-1 when Sally Goodman fired high into the net at the second attempt after a good interception by Jo Lane .

Three minutes later Lane extended the lead after a good run through midfield.

Belper took a firm grip on the game 18 minutes into the second half as Kyla Madsen and Sally Goodman exchanged passes to allow the latter to score.

North Staffs gave themselves hope immediately after to make it 4-2 from a penalty corner.

With five minutes remaining skipper Sally Goodman completed her hat-trick with an opportunist strike.

There was still time for another North Staffs goal as they repeated the success of their previous clever penalty corner routine.

Second -placed University of Birmingham II won 3-1 at Harborne, meaning Belper now need to avoid defeat at home to Lichfield to seal the title.