WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Double delight for leading St Neots ladies after comeback triumph against local rivals St Ives 1sts
PUBLISHED: 12:57 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:57 23 January 2018
St Neots Ladies 1sts celebrated a derby double last Saturday – thanks to two goals in quick succession
They came from behind to triumph 2-1 at Huntingdonshire rivals St Ives Ladies 1sts in Division One North of the East Women’s League.
St Neots also won the reverse fixture by the same scoreline back in October, but it was hosts St Ives who began brightly on this occasion.
They were rewarded for their early pressure with the opening goal from Jules Griffiths, but that served as a wake-up call for St Neots.
Their response was impressive as Kate Clark expertly deflected in an equaliser before Mary Richardson put away a powerful strike from a penalty corner to complete a rapid turnaround.
Stand-in skipper Kelly Bingham twice went close to extending St Neots’ advantage early in the second period, while St Ives were also reliant on a goal-line clearance from Vicky Leighton.
St Ives then finished the game strongly as they chased a leveller to boost their survival hopes, but they couldn’t find another way past St Neots goalkeeper Mel Harding, who pulled off a host of important saves to ensure her side emerged victorious and continue to sit comfortably in mid-table.
Another derby duel between the fourth teams of St Neots and St Ives ended in a goalless deadlock in Division Five North-West (South).
St Ives 2nds’ struggles continued when on the receiving end of a 9-0 drubbing from Cambridge University 2nds in Division Two North-West, but the 3rds boosted their promotion hopes with a first win of 2018 in Division Four North-West (South).
They mounted a strong comeback to earn a 4-2 success against Cambridge Nomads 2nds despite trailing 2-0 in the first half.
Alicia Donaghue launched the recovery before Hannah King converted a penalty corner to level. Mel Wood then fired the St Ives side ahead for the first time before a late Tracey Jago goal sealed the points.
Two St Neots teams continued their pursuits of Five Counties Women’s League honours with pleasing results last Saturday.
Millie Payne, Emma Rowe and China Saywell fired the promotion-chasing 2nds to a 3-0 win against Saffron Walden 4ths in Division Two.
And table-toppers St Neots 3rds extended their unbeaten Division Four campaign to 13 matches with a 2-1 verdict at Welwyn 3rds. Jennifer Colman and Kira Herbert found the net.