• England Hockey Leagues

Marlow women make history with National League hockey promotion

For the first time in the club’s history, Marlow women gained promotion to National League after securing the South Central Premier Division title with a 6-2 victory over local rivals Maidenhead.

Marlow scored 80 goals and conceded 18 on their way to South Central success, with young Starlet and ex-Henley player Lauren Hilditch bagging 19 goals in 19 games.

A key part of their success has been the link between Marlow based schools Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School (SWBGS) and Great Marlow School (GMS) with the hockey club.

The Marlow first team squad boasts an average age of 21.8, with little over half the squad made up of school players. A mix of experience and youth has been crucial to Marlow’s success and, aside from three players, all are homegrown including captain Rachael Goodwin.

Current GMS sixth form student, Rachel Clarke, has won the “glue” award – an award given to someone who holds the team together, works hard, a good teammate and someone who might go under the radar for player of the match – on several occasions.

Kate Porter, Marlow’s first team coach, said: “The positivity from the leadership team has been amazing.

Elsewhere in the club, after missing out on National League promotion to Banbury HC last year the men’s first team have lost a significant number of players to injury, relocation for work and to university. This includes Ex-England U18 international Imre Gerrits, who joined Richmond in January and helped gain a spot in the England Hockey Premier Division.

England Hockey also cited Marlow as a talent hotspot last year as the club were among 20 of the elite to achieve Talent Centre (TC) reaccreditation.