HOCKEY: Sutton secure title in style on final day

Red-hot: Spalding Hockey Club 1st notched 129 league goals ' but missed out on promotion on the final day of the season. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG290312-128TW (to order call 01775 765433)
Red-hot: Spalding Hockey Club 1st notched 129 league goals ' but missed out on promotion on the final day of the season. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG290312-128TW (to order call 01775 765433)
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LONG SUTTON LADIES’ 1st 3 ELY CITY LADIES’ 1st 1: ALREADY promoted, super Sutton added the East League 2NW title to their ranks on the final day of a successful season.

Needing a win, Sutton started well and were soon 1-0 up after Sarah Walker smashed in a short corner.

Sophie Hart was also making some brilliant runs down the wing and this paid off when Rebecca Kierman flung herself at a ball and was very unlucky to see her shot hit the post.

But Charlene Leuty was there to clean up the rebound and give Sutton a nice 2-0 cushion.

Ely pulled a goal back, but this only served to inspire the champions-elect, who were superb to a player.

After numerous short corners Sutton increased their lead again when Melissa Ludlam deflected in a short corner. Sutton continued to pile on the pressure and were unlucky not to score again, as they finished in the best possible fashion.

SPALDING 1st 5

WISBECH 3rd 2

PROMOTION from Division 3NW just eluded Spalding as results failed to go their way.

They achieved their aim of victory, but finish in third place – just one point off the promotion slots – after the top two both won.

Midway through the first half Danny Shardlow sweetly converted a short corner to put Spalding ahead.

Wisbech bounced back and were soon level, but another Shardlow short put the home team 2-1 up at the break.

A more determined Spalding team emerged in the second half and they netted three times in five minutes to secure the game.

Shardlow completed his hat-trick of short corners, before adding his and the team’s fourth from open play. Pete Wright then got in on the act to add the fifth. Wisbech added a consolation second in the final minute.

ALFORD 1st 9

LONG SUTTON 1st 1

DEPLETED Sutton suffered a heavy loss by the seaside.

The tables were turned from earlier in the season, when Sutton hit Alford for nine in the reverse.

Man-of-the-match James Cliff pulled off some fantastic saves to keep the deficit in single figures for Sutton, whose only goal came from the persistent Fred Whatling.

Dan Batten also worked tirelessly throughout as Sutton closed out another Premier B campaign in ninth place.

CITY OF PETERBOROUGH 7th 1

SPALDING 3rd 2

SPALDING finish third in Division 5NW after this stylish success.

Youthful Spalding gave their hosts the runaround early on, with Tim Maltby giving them the lead after a magical passage of champagne hockey.

The lead was wiped out after the interval when Peterborough notched from a corner, but with time ticking away Tom Shinkins popped the ball over the line after a goalline scramble to restore the lead.

Conner Hatton hit the post late on as Spalding signed off with one of their best victories of the year.

LONG SUTTON 3rd 4

SPALDING 4th 0

WELL-DRILLED Sutton concluded their campaign with a fine derby triumph.

Sutton took the game to Spalding from the off and scored through Ian White after good work by Luke Lovegrove and Alex Canham.

Spalding came back into the game, but strong defence – including a man-of-the-match showing by Ben Maris at wing back – helped Sutton keep a clean sheet.

Canham made it 2-0 with reverse flick following good work from Lovegrove, before Ed and Ian White combined for the latter to score from a short corner routine.

Lovegrove added an expertly placed penalty flick to complete the scoring in Andy Clarke’s last game as skipper.

SPALDING 5th 1

LEADENHAM 1st 6

THE young guns of Spalding were soundly beaten by high-flying Leadenham as they signed off for the season.

Fine saves from Max Pearce ensured Spalding only went into the break 3-0 down.

Dan Barkworth got himself on the scoresheet after a well-worked move starting from the back.

But Leadenham stepped up the pressure on the Spalding defence and scored three more before the final whistle went to bring the league campaign to an end.

LONG SUTTON 4th 7

CITY OF PETERBOROUGH 9th 0

LONG-SUFFERING Sutton finally got their first win on the final day of the season.

George Smith used his pace to good effect to claim a hat-trick and Dan Fisher scored a brace of goals.

Will White and Harry Synnott were the other scorers.

SPALDING POACHERS 2nd 2

CAMBS CITY 4th 1

POACHERS secured a commendable second place in Cambs League Division One after an assured victory on the final day of the campaign.

In the first half Cambridge kept Spalding’s defence on their toes, with great play from Maisie Dobbs, Leanne Pick and Frances Dalton keeping the scores level.

The pressure eventually told ten minutes into the second half, but in the final ten minutes Spalding eventually got into gear.

Two goals in as many minutes turned the tide, with Helen Jex equalising and Abby Christian adding a second.

The team held out in the final minutes to enjoy a good finish to the season.

LONG SUTTON LADIES’ 2nd 0

ALFORD LADIES’ 1st 12

PHYSICAL Alford really put Sutton to the sword.

With a number of the regular squad missing, Alford’s dominance soon shone through. In the end Alford ran in 12 unanswered goals, with Sutton finishing the game with two players in casualty and three more walking wounded.