Winchester 1st XI women have secured promotion to the South Premier 1st division – ensuring topflight hockey for next season following this season’s excellent results.

In the season's final showdown, Winchester took to the field against League leaders Reading with a fiery determination to end on a high note. Despite having only one substitute available, Winchester burst out of the gates with a relentless energy, dominating the opening 15 minutes of play.

Winchester displayed their trademark resilience and fighting spirit, pressing forward with gusto and early efforts were rewarded as Winchester took the lead, igniting hopes of a memorable victory. The opening goal for Winchester stemmed from a superb team effort, as Charlotte Gale found the back of the net with a tomahawk strike, courtesy of a perfectly executed assist from Emma Chalmers, exemplifying Winchester's cohesive attacking prowess. Brilliant passages of play were orchestrated by Olivia Childs and Amelie Nolan in the middle, who demonstrated exceptional vision and control.

However, as the half progressed, Reading began to regroup and mount a response, gradually wresting back control of the midfield and launching counterattacks of their own. The contrasting styles of play led to a captivating back-and-forth encounter, with Winchester's positive attacking hockey meeting its match in Reading's strategic short corner executions, resulting in the score line sitting at 3-1 to Reading at the half time break.

In the second half, Winchester continued to battle bravely, but the absence of fresh legs began to weigh heavily on the team. Despite their best efforts to keep pace with Reading's relentless attacks, Winchester found themselves increasingly under pressure. Vivien Scriminger, Jax Alexander and Player of the Match Beatrice Eaton, showcased their defensive expertise throughout the match, making critical, perfectly timed tackles that snuffed out multiple potentially threatening Reading attacks, underscoring Winchester's resilience and defensive solidity under pressure.
Although Winchester ultimately fell short on the scoreboard, their performance was a testament to their indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment to the game. Winchester's players fought with courage and heart until the final whistle, earning the respect and admiration of both their opponents and supporters alike.

As the season drew to a close, Winchester's players could take pride in their commanding start to the match, knowing that they had left everything on the field and showcased their potential for greatness in the seasons to come. While the final result may have ended in a 4-1 defeat for Winchester, their performance was marked by optimism, pride, and a sense of achievement. Their positivity and enthusiasm were infectious, spreading to both their teammates and their opponents. Amidst the exhilarating back-and-forth action on the field, players from both sides shared moments of camaraderie and mutual respect, embodying the true spirit of sportsmanship.

As they departed the pitch, Winchester's players and supporters alike were filled with excitement for the journey ahead in the Premier Division 1, knowing that they had laid the foundation for a promising season ahead. With their promotion serving as a testament to their hard work and dedication, Winchester looks forward to embracing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the highest echelon of club field hockey. 

All the Winchester women’s teams have ended the season in great form, with ladies 2nd and 3rd XI finishing third in their respective leagues just missing promotion, and our 4th XI finishing a very credible fourth.