HOCKEY: Sutton’s survival hopes aren’t looking gr-eight

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Struggling Long Sutton Hockey Club 1st saw their hopes of beating the drop in East Men’s Hockey League Premier B take a big hit on Saturday.

Sutton were handed an 8-1 home reverse by promoted Norwich City 1st at the Peele Leisure Centre – and now must rely on other results to go their way if they’re to beat the drop.

The visitors seized control of the match in the first period, taking a 3-0 lead into the break.

Danny Sisson did get Sutton on the scoresheet in the second half, but four more strikes from Norwich left the hosts in dire straits at the wrong end of the standings.

Having played all 22 of their league games, they sit just one point ahead of Waltham Forest 1st, who still have two games to play and a significantly better goal difference.

On a weekend ravaged by the weather, only three other local teams managed to get games in.

One of those saw Long Sutton 4th finish off their season with a 3-2 derby win over Spalding 5th in Division 6NW (N). Despite blizzard conditions that raged throughout the match, the pitch was fine and some good hockey was played by both teams.

After some excellent work by the rapidly improving Dan Oldfield, Jack Smith opened the scoring for the home side, using his pace well before lifting the ball neatly over the keeper.

Spalding made it 1-1 at half time when Max Bodimead’s strike took a big deflection. They then took a 2-1 lead thanks to a penalty corner which was converted well by Ed Sly against his old club.

Hosts Sutton battled back and won a series of penalty corners, with captain Ian White finally managing to convert one to bring the scores level. Then, with five minutes remaining, he struck a second to complete a third league victory of the season.

Spalding still have one league game left to play.

Elsewhere, Long Sutton Ladies’ 1st suffered a crushing 4-0 home defeat against St Ives 1st in East Women’s League Division 1N.

The result leaves Sutton all but relegated in the fourth from bottom spot. They would require a heavy win against top of the league Harleston Magpies on April 6, which is unlikely to happen.

Sutton’s player of the match against St Ives was keeper Lorraine Wallis, who pulled off a number of excellent saves to keep the score down.