Wycombe Hockey Club secured promotion to South Premier Division 1 with a comeback 3-2 victory against Eastbourne Hockey Club on Saturday.

With Storm Gareth blowing a gale trying to knock both teams off course, it was a case of who could use the conditions to their favour and the early pointers were with the hosts when they took the lead just after half time.

Going a goal behind sparked the away side into action, a feature of their season, and responded brilliantly when 1st XI debutant Will Midwinter produced a fine finish to level the scores.

Now playing with the wind in their sails, Stephen Sloan added two more to the tally after some excellent possession hockey and then managed to hold on in the last five minutes when Eastbourne reduced the deficit to one.

Ahead of this South Premier Division Two clash, Wycombe knew that only a point was needed to clinch promotion to South One for the first time since 2001.

With a depleted squad of 13 players, including four U16s, at assistant coach Martin Sloan’s disposal, the travelling side took their time to get the long journey to the south coast out of their legs and played out a cagey, goalless first half.

The momentum was with Eastbourne after the break and they made their good spell count when a defensive error led to a short corner which they duly converted.

Wycombe have bounced back from tough positions frequently this season, and their character came to the fore when u16 debutant Midwinter expertly slotted past the onrushing goalkeeper to equalise.

After opening their account, the away side were literally and metaphorically playing with the wind behind them and Stephen Sloan finished off two brilliant team goals – the third a particular highlight coming after a large number of consecutive passes.

Eastbourne weren’t going down without a fight and clawed a goal back with five minutes to play through another short corner, but Wycombe held firm.

That win meant the Buckinghamshire side can’t finish any lower than third with the top four gaining promotion and maintains their 2019 unbeaten record – seven wins and two draws.

Up next for Wycombe is their last home game of the season against league leaders Guildford Hockey Club, with coach Ian Sloan eager to go the season undefeated at Bisham Abbey.