Rutland ladies captain Katie Richardson reckons the club’s Cambridgeshire title is just the start for her talented young side.
Rutland Hockey Club claimed the title with back-to-back victories at the weekend, wrapping things up with a stylish 9-0 thrashing of mid-table Cambridge South.
“It’s a fantastic feeling,” said Richardson. “I knew we had it in us.”
The champions must now wait to see which division they will play in next season following an expected league shake-up in the summer. But whoever they come up against, Richardson believes her side has the potential to do well.
“We have played some of the teams in higher divisions before in cup matches,” said the Rutland skipper.
“We have no idea which league we will be in but I have high hopes that we will do well and that we can be celebrating again next season.”
Alice Page scored a hat-trick for Rutland as they beat Huntingdon 3-0 on Saturday, and the Rutlanders ran riot on Sunday.
Top scorer Anne Pollock put Rutland ahead with Page, Jennifer Pollock, Richardson and her cousin Rachel Richardson all adding to the tally.
Rutland scored a magnificent 61 goals in 16 matches to boast a goal difference way ahead of runners-up Wisbech 2nd XI.
“I did not realise our goal difference was so much,” said Rutland’s captain.
“We see ourselves as a team that does always put away the goals. We can dominate games but do not always turn chances into goals.”
She hopes the bulk of the young squad, whose oldest players are only in their early 20s, will be available next season and believes their champion status may even attract players from further afield.
“We could have more players wanting to join but the backbone of the team are all going to stay. We have grown up playing together and win or lose would stay together.”
Coach Simon Cooper said: “The likes of the Richardsons, Anne Pollock and Kim Cooil have really driven the team forward this year.
“It is certainly a wonderful achievement for the club, having secured three promotions in three years.
“This just shows the development of the side and, with the comprehensive nature of victory, perhaps the potential to go even higher in the next league.”
Pre-season training resumes in July.
Rutland (v Cambridge South): Tracey Taylor, Isabelle Chedd, Anne Pollock, Katharine Richardson, Penny Skipper, Charlotte Brooks, Jennifer Pollock, Rachel Richardson, Kim Cooil, Alice Page, Sarah Sissins, Maria Barefoot.