HOCKEY: Spalding still hunting promotion place

BIG WIN: Spalding Poachers 1st kept their promotion hopes alive by seeing off Cambs City 2nd on Saturday. Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG090213-117NG

BIG WIN: Spalding Poachers 1st kept their promotion hopes alive by seeing off Cambs City 2nd on Saturday. Photo (NIKKI GRIFFIN): SG090213-117NG

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In-form Spalding Hockey Club 1st smashed Dereham 2nd 6-1 to stay bang in the promotion picture in East Men’s Hockey League Division 2N.

In-form Spalding Hockey Club 1st smashed Dereham 2nd 6-1 to stay bang in the promotion picture in East Men’s Hockey League Division 2N.

Tom Hewitt fired the first of a hat-trick to settle Spalding down early on, after they quelled an early barrage from the visitors at Glen Park on Saturday.

Marcus Drury then thumped home a deserved second before the break, as the hosts took command.

With Spalding playing some slick stuff, Danny Shardlow made it 3-0 before two more Hewitt efforts put the game to bed. Although Dereham pulled one back, Matt Sanders turned home a well worked short corner to round off the win.

It’s now three wins on the trot for fourth-placed Spalding, who are four points off a place in the top two.

Meanwhile, Long Sutton 1st were battered 7-0 by Cambs Uni 2nd in Premier B.

Sutton made numerous mistakes and couldn’t handle the excellent movement and pace the second-placed Cambridge side had to offer.

There was better news for Long Sutton 2nd, who thrashed Spalding 3rd 9-1 in Division 4NW.

Player-of-the-match Ben Shore helped himself to a hat-trick, as did Nick Bailey. Luke Lovegrove and Jeremy Watt also got in on the act for Sutton at the Peele Leisure Centre, with an own goal completing the scoring. Sutton remain four points off top with a game in hand, while Spalding are hovering above the drop zone.

In the same division, Spalding 2nd picked up a fine 3-1 success at St Neots 2nd.

Despite falling behind in the first half, Pete Wright soon levelled before strikes from James Lowson and Chris McKenna after the break sealed the points.

In Division 6NW (N) it was derby day with two Spalding versus Long Sutton clashes.

Long Sutton 3rd further cemented their position in second with a 3-0 triumph over Spalding 5th.

Player-of-the-match Matt King put Sutton ahead from a well-worked short corner routine, before an Ed White shot was deflected into the Spalding net for an own goal.

Although Aidan Friskney had a fine game in Spalding’s goal, he was then beaten by Alex Canham in the second half.

Spalding 4th did gain a measure of revenge in the other derby duel, as they beat Long Sutton 3rd 3-1.

An own goal put Spalding 1-0 up at the break, before Julian Higgins’ wonder strike doubled the lead. A George Swindells effort was then deflected in by a defender for 3-0, but Sutton did grab a consolation through Jason Mallet’s reverse stick strike.

• Goal-crazy Spalding Poachers 3rd smashed 12 as they crushed Ely in Cambs Ladies’ League Division Two.

Three players shared the goals in a 12-1 romp, with Alex Allwright (5), AJ Bunjan (4) and player-of-the-match Katie Gray (3) all on-song.

Long Sutton 1st were also on winning form as they secured a much-needed 3-1 success over Ipswich 3rd in East Women’s League Division 1N.

Leanne Woodhead bagged a double and Sarah Walker netted the other to move Sutton clear of the drop zone.

Meanwhile, Spalding Poachers 1st sunk high-flying Cambs City 2nd 2-0 at Glen Park to move within four points of them in Division 2NW. Spalding bossed the crunch clash from the off, but couldn’t find a breakthrough in the first period.

Emma Dalton finally broke the deadlock from a short corner four minutes from time, before Kelly Slater converted a long corner from Roz Dennis to seal the points.

Meanwhile, Long Sutton Ladies’ 2nd put on a five-star showing to see off Horncastle 2nd 5-3 in Lincolnshire Women’s Green League.

Anna Smith fired home the opener, before Rachel Gadsden and a penalty flick from Smith made it 3-0. Jeorgia Carr slotted home a fourth to put Sutton clear, but Horncastle pulled one back.

Carr added number five to make the points safe, rendering a late Horncastle strike as mere consolation.

Elsewhere, Spalding Poachers 2nd suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat to Cambs Uni 3rd in Cambs Ladies’ League Premier Division. Maisie Dobbs, Karen Thorold, Eva Keyes and Kirsty Goodale defended well to limit the size of the loss.