HOCKEY: Cunnington treble keeps dream alive

Celebrations for Spalding ladies. Photo by Tim Wilson
Celebrations for Spalding ladies. Photo by Tim Wilson
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Spalding men’s first team kept alive their hopes for promotion into the East Premier A League with a determined victory over Felixstowe in a rearranged fixture.

The under-strength side started brightly and were soon ahead when Stuart Cunnington drilled home a short corner.

Spalding continued to dominate for long periods and midway through the half it was no surprise when they went further ahead with another Cunnington strike.

He completed his hat-trick but the hosts pulled a goal back before the interval.

Spalding played some excellent containing play in the second half and added two further goals from Tom Everton before taking their foot off the pedal.

Felixstowe popped in a couple of late goals but their challenge came too late.

Spalding ladies first team, meanwhile, made it three wins on the bounce with a gutsy performance against second-placed Cambridge City 3rd at Glen Park.

Spalding opened brightly and created several half chances in the opening period but failed to convert.

The visitors looked sharp going forward and tested the Spalding defence to the full.

Keeper Donna Chester-O’Neill made some fine saves and Jodie Abraham was outstanding in defence.

Spalding gradually worked their way into the game with Karen Timby and Steph Wilson battling hard in midfield.

Following a goalless first half, the visitors took the lead as Kelly Slater turned home Karen Timby’s short corner strike.

Spalding played some of their best hockey of the season with Charlotte Boreham and Macy Carr linking particularly well.

A series of short corners were forced and a crisp strike from Timby was deflected by a defender’s stick high into the net for the deciding goal just five minutes from full-time.

Spalding completed their England Hockey Boys Under-14 Championship programme with a six-goal victory over Lichfield at Glen Park on Sunday.

This makes it three wins, having previously beaten City of Peterborough (6-0) and Loughborough (8-0), from five games to finish in third place.

The defeats came at the hands of league winners Leicester (7-0) and Sutton Coldfield (5-2).

James Mayhew (2) and George Halgarth scored Spalding’s goals take them into a commanding lead at the break.

Lichfield came into the game more in the second half but met with stern resistance from Matthew Peach and Shaun O’Leary in the home defence.

Two further goals from Mayhew and one for Jacob Drew completed the scoring and an excellent all-round performance.