Hockey: Enlarged league is given go-ahead

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The Independent Online

Proposals for the restructuring of the men's and women's National Leagues have been put on hold. However, the decision to increase the size of the National League to three divisions of 12 clubs has been affirmed as has automatic promotion to the National League for each of the regional league winners.

With the exception of Whitchurch, winners of the West league, all regional league winners will be appearing in the National League for the first time.

In the men's, Cambridge and Birmingham Universities will be doubling the university representation as they join Oxford and Loughborough. Harrogate were runaway winners of the North league while in the South, Holcombe edged out Beckenham on goal difference.

In the women's leagues, St Austell edged out Firebrands in the West while Southampton, runners-up to Wimbledon 2nd XI in the South, claimed their place, as no second XIs are permitted. Nottingham Highfields, Chester and Letchworth all had runaway victories in their regions. To complete the 36 team women's league, the Welsh champions, Swansea, have been included.