Blueharts break into the big time

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The Independent Online

Blueharts, a home-grown team from Hitchin, achieved their ambition of National League status when they won their pool in the Inter-League play- offs at Olton yesterday while Crostyx retained their position, writes Bill Colwill.

In further play-offs next month, High Wycombe will be at home to Olton and West Warwick with City of Portsmouth away to Whitchurch. The winners will take the last two Second Division places for next season.

Blueharts, whose success was based on a superb defensive performance, did not concede a goal during their three games over the weekend. However, they struggled during their goalless final game yesterday against Whitchurch, who were defending their League status, particularly in the closing minutes when they were reduced to nine men following temporarary suspensions to Gary Fung and Richard Gorely.

Crostyx made sure of another season in the National League with a convincing 3-0 win against High Wycombe.

In the women's event at Clifton, Reading and Aldridge qualified for the Second Division. Reading, who had qualified by Saturday evening, yesterday drew their final game 2 - 2 with the Midlands team, Aldridge.