Title in sight for St Ives after nine-goal thrashing of Spalding
- Credit: NICOLA BENHAM
St Ives men are just one win from the East Hockey League Division Two North West title after a convincing win at Spalding.
The 9-1 success means they will clinch the championship with victory in either of their final two matches, both against third from bottom Cambridge City Over 45s, and regardless of what City of Peterborough and Kettering do in their final games.
There was a quartet on two goals against Spalding, with Alex Grange the man on one. James Harris, Mike Jenner, Ash Welland and Pete Liddle were the men with a brace.
The fourth team were party poopers as their 5-2 win over Cambridge Nomads at home dampen their visitors' Division Five North West title celebrations.
In the last match of the season, it was already decided that the Cambridge side would be champions and St Ives would be second.
But two goals each from Richard Kellet and Benjy Eddleston and one from Matthew Dobson mean the winning margin is four points.
There was disappointment over on the ladies' side of the club as all three sides lost, the thirds twice on successive days and the firsts to Cambridge City despite a goal for Natalie Gaunt.
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That wasn't the case for St Neots whose first team continued their impressive second half of the season with a 5-1 win over Wisbech Town.
Sadie Werrett (two), Kirsty McKenzie, Emma Cody and youngster Aoife Stokes got the goals to move fifth in Division One North and make it eight games unbeaten since their only loss of 2022.
Goalkeeper Tara Bell had a busy weekend, making her debut for the firsts before returning to the seconds in a loss at Cambridge University.
Poppy Presland made her first appearance for the twos in that game.
The men’s first team had a tough day, losing 6-2 to title-chasing Long Sutton while the seconds were beaten by Cambridge City, Pat Keogh getting their goal, and the fourths lost 3-2 to Cambridge Nomads.
The thirds did win though, 3-1 against Peterborough. Ian Cunningham got two of them with a shot from the top of the D the pick of the weekend for Saints.