HOCKEY: Spalding seal title with five-star win

WREAKING HAVOC: Spalding 1st players pile on the pressure during Saturday's win over Cambs City 3rd. Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG010314-114NG
WREAKING HAVOC: Spalding 1st players pile on the pressure during Saturday's win over Cambs City 3rd. Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG010314-114NG

Runaway leaders Spalding 1st sealed the East Men’s Hockey League Division 2N title in typical style with a fine 5-2 home win over Cambs City 3rd.

Needing just one point to clinch the crown at Glen Park, Spalding started with a bang as Stuart Cunnington laid the ball off to Glenn Perkins to tap home on four minutes.

They were pegged back immediately following a defensive error, but Cunnington soon put Spalding back in front when he finished emphatically on his reverse following a fine solo effort.

After the break, another fine solo run by Cunnington allowed Perkins to coolly finish over the advancing keeper to make it 3-1.

Man-of-the-match Cunnington got his second of the match with a penalty corner minutes later.

City pulled another back instantly, but the hosts had the final word when Perkins completed his hat trick with a fine finish from the edge of the D. Tom Wilson did receive a yellow card late on, but it failed to ruin the Spalding title party.

It was a good day for Long Sutton 1st up in Premier B too, as they hammered ten-man Crostyx 1st 8-1 at the Peele Leisure Centre.

Sutton opened their account through goal machine Danny Sisson – and they were soon two to the good as Josh Fyson notched his first.

Midfield dynamo Charles Hardy skipped passed two players and smashed home on his reverse for 3-0, but the away side pulled one back before the break.

It was one-way traffic in the second half, with Fyson adding three more to make it four individually, while Sisson and Will Cook also got in on the action.

However, Long Sutton 2nd were hammered 5-0 by promotion rivals Cambs South 1st in Division 3NW.

Despite a man-of-the-match display from Otto Esse, it was a lacklustre display from Sutton on the road.

Down in Division 6NW (N), Spalding 5th were held to a thrilling 3-3 derby draw against Boston 1st.

Spalding started uncharacteristically slowly and allowed Boston to take the initiative, as they scored twice within the opening five minutes.

Dominic Ibrahim pulled one back for Spalding midway through the half – and added an equaliser shortly afterwards.

Ibrahim completed his hat-trick early in the second half, but Boston broke away to level with two minutes left.

In the same division, Long Sutton 4th slipped to a 2-1 loss to high-flying Alford 2nd.

After falling 2-0 down, Gary Hales drilled a short corner into the goal to reduce the deficit.

• Other results: Division 4NW – City of Peterborough 6th 0 Spalding 2nd 4. Division 5NW– Spalding 3rd 2 Long Sutton 3rd 0. Division 6NW (N) – Bourne / Deeping 5th 2 Spalding 4th 1.

• Spalding Poachers 2nd remain bang in the hunt for promotion from East Women’s Hockey League Division 3NW (N) after a 4-0 victory at Bourne/Deeping 2nd.

Isy Whitehead put them ahead after a slow start, before Kelly Varley crossed for the same player to bag her second. Lily Dobbs then pounced on a loose ball in the D to make it 3-0 at half time.

A stunning strike from Nic Bradley completed the scoring, as she waltzed past three tackles and then the keeper for 4-0.

Elsewhere, Spalding Poachers 1st went down 2-1 at Royston Ladies’ 1st in Division 2NW.

Having fallen behind early on, Eva Keyes’ strike on her debut took the score to 1-1 at half time.

But Royston struck again late on to grab the points.

In the same division, Long Sutton Ladies’ 1st went down 4-1 against City of Peterborough Ladies’ 2nd. Leanne Woodhead netted a late consolation for the hosts in a game that saw Charlie Leuty named player of the match.

In Division 4NW (N), Spalding Poachers 3rd kept their title dream alive by beating leaders Leadenham Ladies 1st 2-1.

Kelly Tuplin and Michelle Smith got the goals.