[H]aving been promoted from National Div 4 North to National Div 3 North at the end of last season, Penrith Canoe Club A team thought they would have a year of consolidating. However, they finished the season lying second in the league and were invited to the playoffs in York on Sat 10th March 2018.
This is where the top 3 teams from the Northern league and the top 3 teams from the Central league, play each other to compete for 2 places in Division 2, which covers Northern and Central Regions.
The tournament started well with a 1-0 win against St.Albans. However, the next match saw local rivals Red Rose, from Lancaster, beat them 3-0.
This was all the more disappointing as Penrith had beaten Red Rose 6-0 in the regional league 2 weeks ago.
The next game against White Rose who were league leaders in the Northern league, also went badly, narrowly losing 1-0. It was time for a team talk, which seemed to do the trick, because in the next game against Luton, Penrith won 2-1, and in their final game against Honey Badgers from Nottingham, who were league leaders of the Central League, Penrith won 4-2.
With one match to go, 3 teams had won 3 and lost 2 games, which showed how tight it was. If the last match was a draw, Penrith would come second and get promoted, however, Luton unexpectedly also beat Honey Badgers, which meant they won the tournament and White Rose and Penrith were joint second.
It went to goal difference and Penrith had a goal difference of zero and White Rose’s was minus one, so Penrith came second and got promoted by the narrowest possible margin! However, another milestone achieved for Penrith, in only their 6th year since the club was formed.