Sport

From Fold to Gold – How A Hockey Club Came Back from the Dead

A Middlesbrough hockey club has  gained promotion to England’s fifth tier after nearly falling out of existence just under five years ago.

Marton Furness Ladies Hockey Club almost folded in September 2012 after many of their current players left the team.

During the 2012-2013 campaign the squad, then captained by Jennifer Pitt, had minimal players to compete and suffered a disastrous season finishing bottom of the league losing thirteen of their fourteen games, conceding 112 goals.

Durham Clubs League Division 1 (2012-2013)

Jennifer said: “This was the toughest period for the club, at the time many of our team had left for various reasons and we barely managed to get eleven players out on the field each week, it was a constant struggle.”

Jennifer Pitt in action for Marton.

Despite this the club   came back to win the league and gain promotion back to Division 1.

Durham Clubs League Division 2 (2013-2014)

With support from Premier League 4 Sport, the club employed new coaches and in working with Teesside University the club were able to field two ladies sides the following season.

The squads average age  of 17 did not hinder them in anyway.

During the 2014-2015 season the first team, now captained by Alison Innerd, managed to maintain their first division status.

Moving from strength to strength and with a young squad hungry for success the aim was to gain promotion within two years.

The team celebrating another victory.

Alison said: “Everybody played their part in the team getting stronger players came from across the area.”

“With the help of volunteers and other sport organisations we were able to improve on and off the field.”

Captain Alison Innerd moving forward into attack.

Further progress continued with the team finishing fourth in the 2015-2016 season narrowly missing out on promotion.

Despite this the clubs momentum continued, by the start of this season Marton Furness Ladies had expanded to three teams of 80 players with ages ranges from 10-50 years old.

The finale to this season saw a complete reversal in fortune to where the club found themselves nearly five years ago.

On the final day the first team narrowly missed out on winning the title losing 2-0 to champions Durham University.

However promotion to England’s fifth tier was already secured as Marton finished 12 points ahead of the third placed side.

Coach Nigel Hornsby said: “Considering where we came from this is a great achievement from a young squad, I would like to thank all of the ladies for all the hard work and dedication they have put in over the years.”

However troubled times could still return. The clubs pitch is being removed and they are seeking donations to find a new home ground.

If you would like to donate please follow the link below for more information.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/martonfurnesshockeypitch

 

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