West Herts Hockey Club’s men’s side effectively secured the East Premier A title with a 3-1 win against Bedford on Saturday.
The Stags are three points ahead of their nearest rivals, Harleston Magpies, who could only draw 0-0 with Wapping at the weekend.
West Herts’ superior goal difference, which currently stands at plus 22, means only an incredible set of results would see them lose their grip on the title.
Against Bedford, the Stags started brightly and went ahead when Dan Webster crossed for Shea O’Sullivan, who confidently converted.
A clumsy foul on Aaron Mitchell saw Bedford reduced to ten men and from the resultant short corner, Dan Scott fired home to double their lead.
In the second period, Webster was dismissed for hitting the ball away but the Stags did add a third goal as Mitchell slotted in.
Bedford grabbed a late consolation but it was an impressive display from West Herts , who can look forward to an inevitable title celebration this weekend.
The Stags’ ladies’ side took on East Premier leaders Bedford and an impressive display saw them complete a 2-0 victory.
Bedford knew a win would secure promotion but West Herts worked hard across the pitch and went ahead midway through the half.
From a sweeping move, Anna Coppel slipped the ball to Sammy Clifft, who finished well.
Bedford reacted strongly to the goal but they were unable to find an equaliser before the interval and the Stags went into the break in front.
The match continued in the same vein in the second period and the both goalkeepers produced a number of good saves.
But West Herts scored their second goal as Clifft played the ball to Coppel and she cleverly slotted past the Bedford stopper.
Bedford had plenty of chances, around 12 short corners, but the Herts defence wasn’t letting anything through. Rachel Bennett was awarded player of the match after an outstanding performance in goal.
Meanwhile, West Herts’ men’s Seconds were beaten 5-1 by Havering in Division One, the Seconds lost 3-1 to Stevenage in Division Three SW and the Fourths went down 3-1 to Harpenden in Division Four SW.
The disappointing form continued as the Fifths lost 2-1 to Potters Bar Seconds in Division Eight SW but the Sixths overcame Welwyn Garden City Fourths 7-2 in Division Eight SW.
The Sixths suffered a heavy 6-1 loss in Division Nine SW.
In the Five Counties Premier, the ladies’ Seconds lost 3-1 to Leighton Buzzard while in Five Counties Division One, the Thirds were beaten 3-0 by Letchworth Seconds.