Hockey: Doncaster relegated to new third tier of National League

Matt Gibson
Matt Gibson

Doncaster have been relegated to the new third tier of the National League after a 3-1 defeat to Loughborough Students.

Heading into the game sitting in the relegation play-off place, Doncaster needed a win or a draw to avoid dropping into the automatic relegation slot occupied by Preston.

The task was always going to be tough against a Loughborough side that had climbed into third in the league after a difficult start to the season.

Loughborough started the stronger, with a high tempo and control of possession.

Doncaster goalkeeper Ash Watson produced a number of key saves before Loughborough finally broke the deadlock from open play close to half time via a deflection.

Loughborough maintained their impressive intensity after the break but struggled to convert from numerous short corners.

They did however manage two further goals from open play before Doncaster grabbed a consolation effort from a Matt Gibson short corner.

Preston picked up a draw against Belper, ensuring they leapfrogged Doncaster into the final play-off place and sent the Town Moor side down as part of a league re-structure.