St Ives leave it late to sink Peterborough and soar to top of table
- Credit: ST IVES HC
St Ives roared to the top of the table thanks to a late victory at home to City of Peterborough thirds.
Adam Wilson and Mike Jenner got the goals in a 2-1 success for the St Ives Outdoor Complex-based hockey club's men, the last of them just a few minutes from time.
Ives dominated the first half, creating numerous chances but finding the Peterborough keeper in inspired form and keeping everything out.
The intensity naturally dropped as the game entered the second period and the visitors took advantage when a rare attack and a reverse-stick finish beat Si Johnson in the Ives goal.
But undeterred, Ives won a number of short corners and Wilson pounced to keep up his goal-a-game ratio with another fine finish.
They could have gone in front but a penalty stroke was saved, however, with time running out, man of the match Alec Bryden found a pocket of space in the middle and his pinpoint pass to an unmarked Dave Haslegrave in the D was unselfishly squared for Jenner to deflect home the winning goal.
Remarkably they are being chased by the club's second team who enjoyed a 3-1 win over City of Peterborough fourths.
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Alex Grange got two of them with Alex Paddock the other.
The third and fifth teams both lost, Pete Liddle scoring in a 4-1 reverse for the threes while the fives went down 3-0 to Wisbech Town, but the fourths won 3-0 against Long Sutton.
Josh Bigwood and Richard Kellet scored in the first half while the latter doubled his tally after the break.
Across in the ladies' section there was a 6-1 defeat for the thirds against Pelicans, Eloise Wakefield the scorer, but the rest of the club were involved in three derby games against St Neots.
The respective first teams drew 1-1.
Chloe Pinn had two early chances for St Neots that both went the wrong side of the post as it remained 0-0 at the break.
An uncleared short corner gave Ives the lead in the second half, Nicola Dawes picking up a rebound off the keeper, and they held the lead into the final minute.
It came from another set-piece, defender Tanya Sargeant slotting it home for St Neots with a reverse push from close range.
It was the same score for the two second teams with the scoring again following the same pattern.
Lucy Harris put Ives ahead with a finish at the back post and the equaliser only arrived late on, skipper Paula Bingham grabbing the goals from a short corner.
St Neots settled the battle in their favour as the match between the fourth teams ended 4-1.
All the goals came in the second half. Sophie Hewitt put Ives in front but Fiona Humphrey equalised and Julie Lewis put them in front, the pair scoring once more each to hand the more southerly Saints the win.
St Neots thirds meanwhile faced Cambridge South where goals from Ruby Lane and Kirsty Clarke gave them a 2-1 win.
It was not so cheerful on the men’s side of the club though with the first-team matching Cambridge University until the final quarter before going down 5-2.
The seconds were beaten 5-0 by Cambridge South and the fourths lost 5-1 to Spalding.
The one positive was a 2-2 draw for the thirds against Kettering where they managed to fight back from two goals down.