HOCKEY: Sutton’s spirit secures status

Close shave: Spalding 3rd's Stuart Perkins fires just wide in Saturday's 6-2 home loss to Rutland 3rd. Photo: SG260311-130TW (TIM WILSON)
Close shave: Spalding 3rd's Stuart Perkins fires just wide in Saturday's 6-2 home loss to Rutland 3rd. Photo: SG260311-130TW (TIM WILSON)
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Cambs Nomads 1st 1 Long Sutton 1st 4: SUTTON delivered when it mattered most as they preserved their Premier B status on the final day of the season.

With both sides needing a win to stave off relegation, Sutton were blessed with a strong squad.

And they made a cracking start, with Nick Ellis crossing for Gary Hales to slam home. The lead was doubled when Ellis saw a near post cross deftly touched home by Nick Bailey.

The home team had few answers to the width of the Sutton attack and a third goal soon came with good work from Danny Sisson allowing Hales to add his second.

After the break Nomads pulled a goal back and came close to adding a second before the umpires correctly disallowed it. But the final goal came when Sisson saw the ball saved by the home keeper who could only push it to Ellis who flicked home to confirm Sutton’s survival.

After a difficult season, Sutton have shown character to maintain their status as Lincolnshire’s top ranked league men’s team.

SPALDING 1st 2

MARKET DEEPING 1st 6

SPALDING finished their disappointing season by being hit for six.

Rivals Deeping needed a win to have any chance of survival, but it was already relegated Spalding who started the stronger.

Retiring skipper James Doolan put the Hills-sponsored side ahead with a neat lofted finish.

But Deeping immediately hit back with a flurry of four goals, only for Dan Shardlow to make it 4-2 at the break. Spalding still looked in with a shout, but two more Deeping strikes killed them off – although it couldn’t prevent them from going down.

On the positive side for Spalding, Rob Dalton, Ross Gavaghan and Piers Smith-Hughes were certainly not out of their depth having stepped up from lower teams.

CITY OF PETERBOROUGH 6th 3

SPALDING 2nd 1

THE final game of the season saw a promising team performance as Spalding continued to blood further new young faces.

They were unfortunate to not at least come away with a share of the spoils.

Peterborough were 2-0 up with goals either side of half time, but Pete Wright pulled one back with a neat turn and finish. City completed the scoring in the final minutes.

LONG SUTTON 3rd 10

SPALDING 4th 1

RAMPANT Sutton smashed Spalding to end their season on a high.

Despite playing some good free flowing hockey in the early stages, Spalding found themselves 4-0 down at the break. Matt Thorley pulled one back from a penalty flick, but Sutton struck six more to build an unassailable advantage.

SPALDING 5th 0

BOSTON 2nd

CONFIDENT Spalding were hit by goals at the end of each half as they ended the season with a loss.

The youthful side defended well early on, while forcing the Boston keeper into a few fine saves.

But they were 1-0 down at the break and Boston sealed the win in an entertaining second half.

LONG SUTTON LADIES 1st 1

ELY LADIES 1st 0

MEL Ludlam’s strike keeps Sutton in the hunt for promotion ahead of their final game of the season.

They scored early from a short corner that was slipped Ludlam. He first shot was saved, but she buried the rebound.

The second half saw some vital tackles in defence by Gemma Parr and some penetrating runs and passes down the right wing from Rachael Gadsden.

Player of the Match Lorraine Wallis made some excellent saves thoughout the game.

BOSTON LADIES 3

SPALDING POACHERS 3rd 3

THIS feisty derby ended with honours even.

Coral Wild (2) and Annie Dalton were the Spalding scorers in a game they largely dominated, but in the end had to settle for a draw.