Yet, in the end, Bristol could still have missed out altogether. It wasn't until the final quarter of the final match - Bristol's clash with Otter Lutra - that the top five places were decided.
Situation when the last game began was that a win for either Bristol or Otter would put the successful team in Championship 1 but leave the losers in the bottom three and heading for Championship 2. But a draw would bring significant change, leaving four teams (Marlins, Sheffield Stingrays, Otter and Bristol) level on points. That would mean constructing a mini table based on matches involving the four – meaning that Mid Sussex Marlins, despite an 8-6 win against Welsh Wanderers in their final game, would miss out.
In the event, Bristol, coached by Craig Figes, beat Otter 7-4, breaking clear in the final quarter with goals by Anna Robbins, Heather Tomlinson and Lilymay Girvin (Picture: Trevor Hyde) after the sides were locked at 4-4.
Earlier, it was Marlins who produced the last quarter flourish against Wanderers, scoring through Amy Styles (2), Liv Henderson and Annah Bowles after the match moved to 4-4 at the start of the final period.
Tyldesley beat Sheffield Stingrays 14-10 to complete a 100% record in the division. Scorers included Honor Grimes (4), Holly Toone (3), Eva Howarth (2), Kelsy Evans (2) and Jordan Parsons (2).
Tyldesley, Bristol, Welsh Wanderers, Mid Sussex Marlins and Sheffield Stingrays progress to Championship 1, with Otter Lutra, Liverpool Liver Birds and English Roses going to Championship 2.