Saints ladies edged out in hockey League opener

St Ives Ladies 3 Saffron Walden 4

IT was a difficult start to the season for St Ives Ladies who went down 4-3 to visitors Saffron Walden in the East Women’s League Division One North on Saturday.

There was plenty of support for St Ives who started solidly, with some nice interchanges through midfield – but Walden started asking questions of the home team and cranked up the pressure, drawing first blood just before half time.

Having re-grouped, the hosts were determined to overturn the deficit and take the points and they enjoyed some extended periods of possession, using the wide midfielders and working the ball forward.

It was against the run of play that Walden doubled their lead.

Debutante Emily Drinkwater coolly slotted past the approaching goalkeeper to make it 2-1 and then Vicky Leighton pounced on a Helen Clarke rebound to level the scores.

However, the team’s concentration waned after that and soon the Saints were two-goals behind again.

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With a mountain to climb, Shelley Read and Emily Bollom made sure a late goal crossed the line. But one goal wasn’t enough.

St Ives will now be looking to open their points account when they host Norwich Dragons at One Leisure on Saturday at 2pm.

St Ives Men IIII 2 Safron Walden IIII 3

ST Ives youthful fourth team, consisting mainly of juniors who have come up through the ranks did well against Saffron Walden, but lost 3-2 in this friendly.

It was in at the deep end for many of the players but the defence held up well, marshalled by Senior Chitty and Miles Davies – and the effortless shift put in by Alfie Brennan and Matthew Chitty.

But it was inevitable that Walden would open the scoring and it wasn’t a surprise when they doubled it.

Saints heads refused to drop though and some nice simple open passing led to Brennan finding the net just before half time.

As legs started to tire in the second half Walden scored from open play again but St Ives rallied and were rewarded with another goal, this time from Matthew Chitty. Other results - Ladies league matches: Ladies II 0-2 Cambridge South, Ladies III 1-2 Huntingdon I; Men’s friendlies: Men II 2-0 Saffron Walden II, Saffron Walden III 7-0 Men III, Saffron Walden IIIII 0-2 Men IIIII.