It went right to the wire, but South East Steamrollers completed the first phase of what could be an historic season for the club.
The team, organised in Milton Keynes, made life hard for themselves in the final weekend of action as they won promotion to Division One.
With the final weekend’s fixtures all played in the same place, Steamrollers were on their way to the rink in Bisley, Surrey, still desperately seeking a goalkeeper. Fortunately they found Abbey who was willing to don the pads, and got her registered in time for the first game.
They also heard that title rivals Kingston Street Flyers had lost their penultimate game of the season, meaning a victory for Steamrollers would give them the league title.
But they made it hard for themselves by slipping 6-1 behind to South Wales with five minutes to go.
“This was the first time we started to argue amongst ourselves all season,” said player/coach Mike Lucas. “When we got over the shock of the result, we pulled ourselves together and got on with the task at hand.”
Incredibly, they fought back to 7-7, but a draw wasn’t enough to secure the title. However, their 7-1 win in their final game guaranteed them their first taste of silverware.
Mike said: “It feels great to be champions and go into Division One, but it’s just the first part of what could be an even better season for the club.”
On Saturday, the Milton Keynes Steamrollers will play their final game and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
The team will be taking on Swindon in a winner takes all match. The victor snatches automatic promotion from the other, while the loser will take on the bottom club from Division Two in a play-off match for the right to play there next season.
Mike is a coach for the MK side, but says he feels even more pressure on the sidelines than he does as a player.
He said: “I said I’d sleep well if the South East team won promotion, but it’s a different kind of pressure I feel for the MK team.
“I hope we can go into the summer break celebrating two promotions.”