The Men's Blues team finished the 2019/20 East Region Premier A campaign in second place on 45 pointsBernard Tyler

Cambridge University Hockey Club has announced that the Men’s Blues team have been promoted from the Mr Cricket Hockey East Region Premier A to the National League Conference East.

However, only 6 games could be played this season due to ongoing ongoing coronavirus restrictions, having won five and drawn one. As a result, the Mr Cricket Hockey East Leagues committee made the decision to use the standings from the 2019/20 season, during which the Blues had been able to complete 21 of their 22 fixtures, finishing in second place on 45 points after 21 games played

Under normal circumstances, only one team is promoted from the East Premier A League. Cambridge University Hockey Club (CUHC) explained to Varsity that as a result of a restructuring of the national hockey pyramid, which has seen regional hockey move from recognising five regions to eight under England Hockey’s ‘Structure Fit for the Future’ proposal, the top three tiers (administered by England Hockey) have swollen in numbers. Therefore, the decision was made before the start of the 2020/21 season that the top two teams would be promoted.

Although the Blues totalled up the highest points per game in the 2020/21 season (16 from 6), the 2019/20 season was not so straightforward. Beginning with a shock 10-1 defeat to West Herts, who went on to secure promotion as champions, the Blues won only one of their following six games. Following a 2-2 draw in the ‘Cambridge Derby’ (against town side Cambridge City HC, which often includes Light Blue alumni), the Blues’ form picked up, winning all 5 remaining games of 2019. Returning after the Christmas break, the squad continued their good run of form and went on to win 8 of the last 9 fixtures of the season, securing second place before the first national lockdown came into force.


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Edward Tyler, the 2020/21 CUHC President and 2019/20 Men’s Blues Captain, told Varsity that this promotion is “fantastic for the whole club, and sport at Cambridge in general”, and that “it was a great honour to captain this team”, remarking: “We’ve not yet had a chance to celebrate it together properly - we don’t even have an official team photo - but hopefully that’ll be possible this summer!”

He continued: “We intend to prove that studying at the country’s top University should be no barrier to performing at the highest levels of sport, and I hope we can push the growth of hockey from the Blues to our 2nd and 3rd teams, to CUHC’s college academy and the college leagues, with greater exposure and if possible, increasing sponsorship and alumni contributions that aid the whole club, not just the Men’s Blues. Our Women’s Blues have been performing at an almost-identical standard for several years now, so I would love for CUHC to support their push for National League promotion too.”

The promotion to the third division of national hockey for the 2021/22 season, which starts in September, will at long last put an end to the thirteen-year absence of National League hockey at Wilberforce Road.