The first team captain of St Ives Hockey Club, Claire Pateman, is delighted with the progress of her side as they aim to consolidate in Division One North of the East Women’s League.

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A 0-0 draw against Cambridge City II at the weekend was a good result, despite the lack of goals which have flowed recently with both Helen Clarke and Claire Bannerman enjoying purple patches.

But Pateman says the team is in a development phase under new coach David Grammar – and two great wins after Christmas gave them the relegation-busting boost they needed ahead of the all-important run-in.

“The changes took a while to settle and subsequently we were disappointed to suffer three narrow defeats in the opening four games,” said Patemen.

“However, those three teams are now in the top four.

“We battled through to the Christmas break and have come out in 2014 with a flourish.

“The team’s performance has been rewarded with seven points from the opening four games, including wins against both Norwich Dragons and Wisbech, both above St Ives in the league table.

“The table is very tight and there have been some unexpected results of late. Sitting in mid-table, we are by no means out of danger yet.

“We need to approach every game as we approached Norwich Dragons and bring home more points.”

Eighth in a table of 12, St Ives should be safe – but planning for next season should wait until safety is absolutely guaranteed.

“We are looking to consolidate this season and finish comfortably mid-table in order to build and push for promotion into East League Premier Division over the next two seasons,” said Pateman.

Against Cambridge, St Ives had a very strong first 15 minutes and they linked play beautifully, were confident on the ball, and put their opponents’ defence on some considerable pressure.

But, despite two or three clear chances, the Saints went into the break level and the second half saw them struggle to regain the control they enjoyed in the opening period.

With a final flourish, City bore down on Ives with a string of penalty corners but, having battled so hard, the home team were determined not to be broken. And weren’t.

St Ives men’s first team picked up a great 3-1 win at Ipswich-East Suffolk with the prolific Tom Dolemore scoring twice after Pip Dickinson had equalised with his first goal for the team.

St Ives are mid-table in Division One of the East Men’s League, and they are still chasing promotion back to the promised land of the Premier League.

There were also great wins for the men’s fourth team, who beat Long Sutton III – their third win on the trot in Division Five North West. Ross Basser scored a hat-trick in 5-2 win with Nathan Jones and Richard Corbett getting the other goals.

Oliver Wood scored twice and William Jones got the other goal in the fifth’s brilliant 3-0 win at Ely City VI. The seconds lost 3-1 to Cambridge South II, while the thirds drew 1-1 with Cambridge South III.

The ladies seconds had a great 3-1 win against Huntingdon, knowing a win would keep them in the race for promotion in Division Three North West. Emma Woodcraft, Emily Wagstaffe and Theresa Jackaman got their goals, which all came in the first half.

Pauline Hammond scored twice with Hollie Willett, Natasha Sice, Caroline McKenzie, Hannah King and Aleisha Moore getting the other goals in the thirds 7-0 win over Newmarket III.

There were wins for St Neots men’s third and fourth teams (4-3 at home to Ely City III and 1-0 at Cambridge South VI). The men’s first team were beaten 6-2 by Cambridge South.

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