Chelmsford's mixed fortunes

Indoor English Hockey League Women's Premier DivisionChelmsford kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the National Championships with sixth place finish in the league.

Indoor English Hockey League Women's Premier Division

Chelmsford kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the National Championships with sixth place finish in the league.

Over the first two weekends in January, Chelmsford ladies travelled to Birmingham looking to defend their league title and aim for a place in the National Championships, of which they are also the current holders.

The team was not at full strength however, with players being unavailable due to international commitments and injuries. The youngsters of Chelmsford were therefore given a chance to stake a claim for a place in the squad which is due to travel to Hamburg for the European Indoor Championships in February.

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Chelmsford started the defence of their league title lacking confidence and their results reflected this with one win out of a possible four. With preparation for the European Championships in mind, the performance of the team was maybe of more importance than results, however, a poor result against Olton in the last match on Sunday left the defending champions in danger of being relegated.

Having a week to re-group and the return of Maria Merrigan and Tracey Willmore to the squad, Chelmsford played with more confidence and purpose. Winning three of their remaining four matches not only made Chelmsford safe from relegation, but still kept them within a chance of qualifying for the National Championships. Results from other matches did not go in their favour and they finished a respectable sixth.

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Attention now turns to the European Championship Finals which take place in Hamburg, February 21-23. With GB players Lisa Wooding and Chloe Rogers back from international duties, Chelmsford will be hoping that they will have a full squad available for the trip.

If you would like to assist the team in their preparation or would like to sponsor their shirts, please contact the club via the website Alternatively, there is advertising space available around the pitch at Chelmer Park, which now boasts a new stand with a capacity of 100 seats.

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