THE local derby stakes are even higher than normal for relegation-threatened Doncaster Hockey Club this weekend.
Richard Thomas’ side travel to Wakefield knowing only victory will guarantee their National League status.
The losers of Sunday’s basement battle will be forced to enter the end-of-season relegation play-offs and face the very real prospect of dropping into the EHL’s regional leagues.
Preston have already been relegated by finishing bottom of Conference North.
Above them, Doncaster are currently one point worse off than Wakefield.
The Town Field men kept up their hopes of a great escape with a superb 4-0 win over fifth placed Leek on Saturday.
Tim Shelley fired in two penalty corners either side of the break, while Jonathan Redfern and Dan Legg also netted.
Doncaster’s ladies, meanwhile, all but secured their Conference North status for next season with a 2-2 draw at home to Wakefield Bradford on Sunday.
Charlotte Tomlin and Alice Williams were on the scoresheet for Doncaster.