Spalding Hockey Club’s Under-16 girls qualified for the England Hockey Midlands Finals with a hard-fought win over Leicester on Sunday.
Tamika Providence’s goal for Spalding was countered by a short corner strike for Leicester. But following good work from Annie Dalton and Lily Dobbs, Emily Brown’s winner confirmed Spalding as group champions.
And it was Providence who went closest in the first half for Spalding Poachers 1st in a 1-0 defeat to City of Peterborough 1st. The city side scored after catching Spalding on the break in the second half. Poachers’ player of the match was Annie Dalton.
Spalding Ladies 2nd lost 4-0 at Newmarket 1st, despite spectacular saves from keeper Christina Dewing.
Newmarket’s opener came from a first-half short corner. Lily Dobbs, Eva Keys and Stephanie Wilson went close to an equaliser before Newmarket hit three more. Spalding player of the match was Amber Wild.
Meanwhile, Alex Allwright and Elaine Allen bagged the goals in Spalding Ladies 3rd’s 2-2 draw with St Neots 3rd.
Spalding managed with ten players for 20 minutes of the second half when Frances Dalton went to hospital for stitches.
Spalding joint players of the match were Ysabel Ward and Hannah Albans with a special mention for Charley Evans for showing determination and considerable improvement in her first few games.
Fielding a more experienced side enabled Long Sutton Ladies 2nd to win 2-1 at Woodhall Spa 1st. Sutton adjusted well to an unusual pitch, having a lot of possession and leading 1-0 at half-time through a Katie Ireland goal.
Woodhall’s equaliser was fortuitous but Sutton continued to battle on and Dawn Howell scored the winner on her debut.
There wasn’t such joy for Long Sutton Ladies 1st, beaten at home in a derby with Wisbech Town 1st.
Robyn Gribble finished a slip pass from Leannne Woodhead in a one-on-one against the keeper to give Long Sutton an early lead.
Wisbech hit an equaliser and, with 20 minutes to go, the honours looked even between the sides.
Battling play and two successive goals from Wisbech gave them a 3-1 win despite some outstanding goalkeeping from Lorraine Wallis.
The defence of Sally Cade, Jess Hudson, Tania White and Gemma Parr battled to clear the line but persistent play from Wisbech secured their win.
• Men’s round-up: A second-half fightback by Long Sutton 1st dispelled a miserable start in Colchester.
Sutton conceded six before half time despite great efforts by goalkeeper Josh Thody, who stepped up six leagues for his Premier B debut.
The second half was better. Whatling and Ben Shore pulled it back to 6-2 before Colchester scored two more against the run of play.
Sutton’s consolation third came from the returning Ash Taylor.
Long Sutton 2nd kept pressure on the league leaders with a commanding 4-1 win at City of Peterborough 6th. Nick Bailey’s reverse stick goal cancelled out Peterborough’s opener.
Jeremy Watt twice set up Bailey to complete another hat-trick. Then after good work at the back from Matt Holmes and man of the match Simon Clarke, Watt found Bailey who put Gary Hales through to finish the game off in style.
Long Sutton 4th were unlucky to be beaten by the 3rd team in a close match ultimately decided by a Sam Gray finish.
For the 3rds, Albert Slator, Ed White and man of the match Mark Simpson stood out, whilst for the 4ths stand out performances came from debutants Sid Turner and Kieran Forrest as well as Harry Thorpe and Ian White.
Spalding 1st and Cambridge City 3rd were in a hugely entertaining 1-1 draw.
Midway through the first half Richard Price was adjudged to have fouled an onrushing attacker and Cambridge scored the resultant penalty stroke.
Spalding stayed focused and deservedly levelled when Tom Hewitt’s hit was deflected into his own goal by the keeper. The second half was end to end and Spalding survived a late barrage of Cambridge penalty corners.
Spalding 5th took the lead at Horncastle 2nd inside two minutes and later led 2-0 but were beaten 4-2.
Paul Pearson set up Deane Baker to score before Horncastle forced Max Pearce into a string of fine saves. Pearson again crossed for Baker to make it 2-0.
Horncastle sneaked a goal back just before half time, and despite great battling from Spalding man of the match James Scott ran in three more.