HOCKEY: Honours even in local derby
Spirits were high as Spalding Ladies 1s travelled to Long Sutton to play their local derby.
On a three-week winning streak, the ladies were determined to make this another victory.
From the start, Long Sutton were forcing pressure constantly at Spalding’s goal, but the defence held strong and kept out two short corner attempts in the first few minutes of the game.
With the Spalding defence creating outlets, they managed to transfer the ball to the opposition’s D.
Despite Amy Wells running circles round players and Macy Carr’s relentless reverse hits, Spalding just couldn’t manage to get it past the experienced Long Sutton keeper.
After showing constant grit and determination, Spalding were awarded a short corner 18 minutes into the game, which Karen Louise Timby fired into the D and Carr finished off on the rebound to make it 1-0 to Spalding.
Five minutes later, Spalding’s key playmaker Timby had to leave the pitch with a nasty eye injury after a deflection off a stick, which caused a deep wound.
The close of the first half saw Spalding once again defending a series of short corners back-to-back on the whistle.
The second half followed the same pattern, with both teams not giving anything away in this action-packed game, giving the spectators of both teams plenty to cheer.
With five minutes remaining, one of the Long Sutton players fell to the ground with what appeared to be exhaustion.
Fortunately, Spalding captain Jodie Victoria used her medical experience to help and the player got to her feet and left the pitch.
This brief interlude gave Spalding a chance to regroup and have a change of formation to absorb any attacking threat Long Sutton might offer.
The ‘mighty greens’ were launching everything at the ‘mighty maroons’ and their reward was winning a short corner on the final whistle.
A cruel deflection off one of the Spalding defenders left the keeper stranded after an otherwise faultless display to deny Spalding a deserved win.
Falling to their knees at the end of the game, it was a disappointing end to a tough encounter for the Spalding team.
A great game of hockey, which was played in the true spirit of the game and both teams left the pitch knowing they could do no more.
• Spalding Ladies 2s played a late home game against March and went down 6-3 in a high-scoring encounter with their Fenland rivals.
It was a tough match for both sides from start to finish, with the teams well and truly battling it out.
Spalding Ladies scored three goals – from Codie O’Leary, Alanya Bunyan and Sam Foston – but unfortunately, March came out hungrier for the ball and pushed the Spalding side to become frustrated and annoyed, which tested the team in every way and broke up their play.
The weather conditions were cold and harsh and every time Spalding managed to get past the half-way line, the ball seemed to come straight back and test their defence once again.
Both teams started to get agitated, but luckily there were no injuries and everyone came away relatively unscathed, apart from the Spalding players being extremely frustrated, knowing they had the ability to get a very different result.
The third team’s game against Woodhall Spa Ladies’ 1s was abandoned.