HOCKEY: Monster of a performance from goalkeeper Ness helps St Ives side settle in with a draw

Helen Clarke scored for St Ives Ladies 1sts.

Helen Clarke scored for St Ives Ladies 1sts. - Credit: Archant

Goalkeeper Ness Brown was a formidable last line of defence as St Ives Ladies 1sts made a solid return to Division One North.

Brown made a series of fine saves in the promoted side’s 1-1 draw at Lincoln side Lindum, which featured an equaliser from Helen Clarke, in their East Ladies League opener.

Other notable performances came from defender Lyndsay Burrell and attacker Jules Griffiths, who both impressed in their first tastes of hockey at this level.

There was a high-scoring start to the season for St Ives Ladies 2nds as they roared into double-figures in their Division Three North-West curtain-raiser. Ellie Burgess hit four of the goals in a 10-2 drubbing of Newmarket 2nds while Holly Stride and Zoe Helme struck twice apiece.

Katie Frear and Doris Jackaman were the other players to strike.

Beth Paton’s goal was not enough to prevent a losing start for St Ives Ladies 3rds in Division Four North-West (South) as they went down 2-1 at Haverhill 2nds.

There was a mixed bag of results for the three leading St Ives teams on the opening weekend of the new East Men’s League season.

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The 1sts were beaten 3-2 by Horncastle 1sts in Division Three North-West despite goals from Alex Bryden and James Lloyd.

The 2nds were on the receiving end of a late sucker-punch as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Cambridge Nomads 2nds despite dominating much of the Division Four North-West game. Charlie Budgett hit their goal.

But there was a successful start for the 3rds as a brace of Alex Ginns goals bookended a 3-0 win against City of Peterborough 7ths in Division Five North-West.