HOCKEY: Perfect Poachers seal title in style

Just champion: Spalding Poachers 1st are celebrating promotion after clinching the Cambs Premier League title. Back (from left) '  Steph Wilson, Roz Dennis, Sally Pilgrim, Karen Timby, Jaqui Hunter, Tamika Providence, Karen Breen; front ' Emma Dalton, Kelly Slater, Christina Dewing, Rachel Perkins and Anne Dalton. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG170312-134TW
Just champion: Spalding Poachers 1st are celebrating promotion after clinching the Cambs Premier League title. Back (from left) ' Steph Wilson, Roz Dennis, Sally Pilgrim, Karen Timby, Jaqui Hunter, Tamika Providence, Karen Breen; front ' Emma Dalton, Kelly Slater, Christina Dewing, Rachel Perkins and Anne Dalton. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG170312-134TW
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SPALDING POACHERS 1st 8 CITY OF PETERBOROUGH 3rd 0: PROLIFIC Poachers notched up their 11th successive victory on Saturday to claim the Cambs Premier League title and gain promotion into the East League.

Having already won the Lincolnshire County Championship, the super Spalding girls could be toasting a treble next month with a League Cup final on the horizon.

Jacqui Hunter was first on the scoresheet when she drilled home the ball from a tight angle.

The ever-impressive Karen Timby then calmly doubled the lead when she converted a penalty stroke, before a neat finish from the outstanding Emma Dalton gave the home team a comfortable 3-0 lead at half time.

More goals followed for Spalding in the second period as they strung the passes together.

Timby put away her second and Kelly Slater latched on to a miss-cued shot to score number five, while Karen Breen used her skill and pace to rattle home an impressive hat-trick.

Poachers now stand four points clear at the top of the table with just one match remaining. 

LONG SUTTON 1st 3

ST IVES 1st 2

JUDGEMENT weekend arrived for Sutton as they preserved their Premier B status with two huge wins.

Having beaten Crostyx 1st on Saturday, it all came down to a basement battle with St Ives 24 hours later.

Sutton started well and it was no surprise when they took the lead through Danny Sisson, who smashed home on the reverse.

Skipper Jimmy Harrison then stepped up to double the advantage from a penalty flick before half time.

The hosts really turned the screw early in the second half, with Harrison feeding Gary Hales for number three.

Two late goals from St Ives mattered little, as Sutton moved up to the lofty heights of eighth.

• A day earlier, Hales’ hat-trick helped Sutton slay Crostyx 1st 4-3.

An early double from from the master marksman put Sutton 2-0 up, but they were pegged back to 2-1 by their hosts.

Two more goals arrived before the break as Sisson put Sutton further ahead, only for Crostyx to hit back again.

The immense James Cliff kept Sutton ahead in the second half, until he was finally beaten to level matters.

Hales had other ideas though, slamming home a deserved late winner to seal his treble to set up Sutton’s super Sunday.

BOURNE/DEEPING 1st 4

SPALDING 1st 1

SPALDING were out-gunned in this Division 3NW top of the table clash.

Spalding started well with a sharpness and fluidity to their play, but Bourne/Deeping soon had them on the back foot.

With Spalding unable to clear their lines, the home team converted twice before half time.

That lead was extended to 3-0 after the break, but Spalding quickly pulled one back through Matt Sanders.

A finely-worked second Spalding goal was then ruled out after an alleged foot, making Bourne/Deeping’s fourth strike the clincher.

SPALDING 2nd 1

CITY OF PETERBOROUGH 5th 4

PLUCKY Spalding deserved so much more from this game.

Spalding dominated throughout, but the final ball or finishing touch just failed to materialise – and it cost them.

With Jackson making a welcome return from injury and Robert Tilbrook playing through the pain barrier, their was no lack of effort from Spalding.

They got back into the game when Smith-Hughes slotted home after some excellent play from the back through Doades and McKenna.

Sturdy performances by Rowbottom and Drury couldn’t prevent another goal for Peterborough.

LONG SUTTON 2nd 2

BOSTON 1st 2

A BATTLING second half saw Sutton earn a decent draw.

Boston found themselves 2-1 up at the interval, only for the hosts to hit back. Jeremy Watt and Michael Donaghy were the scorers.

Adam Wiles, back after a four month break, was superb, while man-of-the-match Stef Fox worked tirelessly.

SPALDING 4th 5

ALFORD 2nd 2

SKILFUL Spalding again showed what they are capable of.

Leading scorer Shaun Dewing played an inviting pass for Peter Gray to open the scoring, before the goal machine buried his 40th of the season from a short corner.

Alford pulled one back, but Dewing netted again to restore the cushion after playing a one-two with Joe Higgins.

Undeterred, Alford made it 3-2 – only for Higgins to find the net before Dewing completed his hat-trick and the scoring.

LONG SUTTON 3rd 4

SPALDING 5th 1

SUTTON returned to winning ways to take the spoils against spirited Spalding.

After making a strong start, Ashley Rex notched for Sutton from a well-worked short corner. However, Spalding responded well and were rewarded with an equaliser through Jack Drury.

Chances flowed in the second period, with Spalding’s young side giving as good as they got.

But it was Sutton who took command, with Andy Clarke finishing well for the first of two goals – reaffirming his status as leading scorer.

Sandwiched between his double was an excellent short corner finish from Ian White.

LONG SUTTON LADIES’ 1st 4

CAMBRIDGE CITY LADIES’ 2nd 1

FOUR-SOME Sutton earned a fine victory.

Sarah Walker gave them a great start by hitting the ball home from a short corner, before some great play allowed Robyn Gribble knock in the second at the far post.

A slice of complacency kicked in as City pulled one back and then won a penalty flick, only for Lorraine Wallis to make a super stop.

Sutton stepped it up after the break though, as Charlene Leuty made it 3-1 from open play.

Hosts Sutton then sealed the points when Melissa Ludlam deflected a shot from Gribble towards the goal,then cleared up the rebound.

Walker was named player of the match.

MARCH LADIES’ 1st 1

SPALDING POACHERS 2nd 1

AMBER Wild’s goal earned what was ultimately a disappointing draw for Poachers.

Emily Brown, Maisie Dobbs and Millie Middlebrook all returned, but Spalding failed to find their feet until Wild opened the scoring.

After the break Helen Jex, Lilly Dobbs and Abby Christian all went close, but March pegged them back with a leveller.

Poachers looked set to grab a late winner, but the full time whistle was harshly blown when Jex was clean through on goal.

LOUTH LADIES’ 3rd 2

LONG SUTTON LADIES’ 2nd 2

TEN-PLAYER Sutton earned a very good point.

After a goalless first period, Louth scored twice early in the second half to go 2-0 ahead before an excellent fight back from the Long Sutton ladies with goals by Katie Ireland and Helen Worth.

Outfield efforts were supported by Claire Billingham in goal, while Louise Billingham chased well and battled hard. Laura Temple and Jayme Hunt also played well in defence.