Red-hot Spalding Hockey Club 1st handed champions Ipswich ES 1st their first beating of the season to keep their promotion hopes alive.
Knowing they had to win, Spalding started superbly at Glen Park and Ash Barker eventually fired the hosts 1-0 ahead.
That only served to wake the experienced champions up though, as they grabbed a deserved leveller before the interval.
Determined to stay in the hunt for Division 2N promotion, Spalding seized the initiative in the second period and sealed a memorable win when Stuart Cunnington’s reverse stick strike put them 2-1 up.
The victory leaves Spalding joint third in the standings – and they face Cambridge City 3rd, who they are level on points with, this Saturday.
It was a big day for Long Sutton’s top two teams as well. In Premier B, Sutton 1st’s quest for survival continued with a vital 2-1 win at Crostyx 1st.
All of the goals came in the first period, with Danny Sisson squaring for Connor Allen to expertly slot home the opener. Crostyx equalised against the run of play, but again excellent work from Sisson allowed him to pinch the ball and find Hales who rounded the keeper and smashed in the winner.
Meanwhile, Long Sutton 2nd clinched their expected Division 4NW promotion in style with a 3-0 victory at St Neots 2nd. Ben Shore (2) and Nick Bailey bagged the goals for the away side, who are now focusing on clinching the title with three games left.
In the same division, Spalding 2nd continued their excellent form with a 4-3 win at March 3rd. Pete Wright’s close-range strike and Graham Doades’ streamline strike put Spalding 2-0 ahead, but March pulled one back before half time.
The hosts made it 2-2 and again levelled at 3-3, with another Wright strike sandwiched inbetween.
But Spalding had the last word, with Keith Stennett powerfully blasting home.
Also in that league, Spalding 3rd were smashed 6-0 at St Ives 2nd.
In Division 6NW (N), Spalding 4th and Long Sutton 3rd played out a 1-1 draw. After a goalless first period, Scott Ingram fired Sutton ahead with just ten minutes left.
Spalding, unbeaten in 2013, refused to lie down though – and levelled through Ryan Mountney’s sweet strike.
Long Sutton 4th put up a decent fight against champions Leadenham 1st, but ended up going down 5-2. Andrew Clarke and John Sullivan got the goals in a top team effort.