Leighton Buzzard Ladies 2nds secured promotion in emphatic fashion on Saturday as they thumped Hertford Ladies 2nds 6-1.
Going into the game knowing a win would be enough to see them into the Premier Division, nerves crept into their early play, but it didn’t take long before they settled into their stride.
Having lost just four times in 21 outings, they were surprisingly behind when Hertford’s speedy winger took advantage to net early.
The goal though settled Leighton, and they were level on the 10 minute mark as Siobhan Hennessy scored inside the D.
Leighton were soon in the lead when Katie Jackson scored.
Sharon Avola and Lucie Webster both missed chances before the half time interval, but it wasn’t long before Leighton could let their hair down.
Leighton held high on the pitch, with the midfield including Clare Farrow ensuring the ball remained in the attacking half, supported by the defenders stepping in to control the play.
The pressure resulted in many opportunities, and gave Hennessy the chance to take two more goals for her hat-trick.
Sarah Ayres was unlucky to have a goal disallowed for an earlier infringement, before Jackson scored a trademark short corner to make it 5-1.
Hertford rallied, winning a series of short corners, but Leighton managed those with ease, before creating one last goal for player of the match Jackson to complete her hat-trick.
Scenes of celebration sparked at the final whistle, knowing they’d done enough to secure promotion.
Next weekend’s game, the last of the season, comes against Blueharts - who also secured promotion at the weekend.
Meanwhile, Leighton Mens 1sts’ promotion chances hang in the balance after a 2-2 draw with fellow contenders Newbury & Thatcham on Saturday.
From the first whistle the Buzzards started strongly and pinned Newbury back in their own half. The quick dribbling of Tommi Lakins won Leighton a series of short corners which eventually was converted into a goal when Lakins rattled the backboard with a fierce strike.
Leighton doubled their lead when Nick Marshall, whose drag flick at a short corner hit a Newbury defender on the inside of the post and crossed the line.
Newbury pulled one back just before half time though, rounding keeper Alex White to reduce the deficit to one at the interval.
Leighton looked to be comfortable as Newbury surged forwards to find an equaliser, but they eventually succumbed to the pressure as the visitors managed to squeeze one in at the near post for a share of the points.
Both sides had chances to win it late on, but neither could find the decisive goal to win it.
With two remaining fixtures left Leighton need to ensure they win both and other fixtures go their way if they are to gain promotion.