Derby delight as St Ives Ladies impress again . . . but there is more misery for the struggling men

Helen Clarke scores the second goal for St Ives Ladies 1sts in their derby triumph against St Neots.

Helen Clarke scores the second goal for St Ives Ladies 1sts in their derby triumph against St Neots. Picture: DUNCAN LAMONT - Credit: Archant

St Ives Ladies came through one of their toughest tests yet to continue their sparkling start to the East Women’s League season.

Defender Vicky Leighton and captain Helen Clarke hit the goals in a hard-fought Huntingdonshire derby triumph over St Neots last Saturday as they stretched their 100 per cent record in Division Two North-West to seven games.

But this was no cakewalk for the free-scoring table-toppers as they came up against a side renowned for their resolute defending and a visiting goalkeeper, Laura Tonkin in terrific form.

Tonkin was eventually beaten when Leighton coolly converted the opening goal from a penalty corner as St Ives made a spell of first-half pressure count.

They had to wait until the second period to double their advantage as Holly Stride provided an injection of pace when driving forward and finding Clarke, who applied the finishing touch at the second attempt after initially being denied by Tonkin.

The other two St Ives Ladies teams both extended their unbeaten records when successful last Saturday.

Sally King, Melanie Wood and Katie Frear found the net as the 2nds claimed a 3-0 victory over City of Peterborough 3rds in Division Three North-West.

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And the 3rds ran riot to deliver a 12-0 drubbing to struggling Ely City in Division Four North-West.

Ellie Burgess, Pauline Hammond and Beth Paton all struck twice as the St Ives side hit six goals in the space of just 10 first-half minutes.

Emily Skidmore added two further goals before the break and Hammond completed her hat-trick early in the second half when pouncing in a goalmouth scramble.

Player-of-the-match Holly Willett took their tally into double-figures before captain Hannah King add two further goals from penalty corners to complete the rout.

St Ives 4ths were the club’s only male side to taste victory in the East Men’s League last weekend.

They returned to winning ways in Division Five North-West courtesy of a 4-0 success against Bourne Deeping 5ths.

Langton Takawira struck twice with Richard Corbett and Ewan Morgan also on target while goalkeeper Tom Laskey was able to celebrate a clean sheet.

The four other St Ives men’s sides are all involved in relegation battles.

The 1sts remain bottom of Division Two North after a 4-2 defeat at the hands of University of East Anglia while the 2nds were dragged deeper into trouble as an Alex Grange strike was not enough to prevent a 2-1 loss at the hands of Horncastle in Division Three North-West.

The depleted 3rds are also battling for survival in Division Four North-West. Their wait for a first victory continued as they went down 11-0 to Cambridge City 5ths.

It is also a season of struggle for the 5ths who were beaten 3-1 by City of Peterborough 9ths in Division Six North-West (South).

Finlay Hudson struck for a team missing a number of players due to a wedding.