St Ives clinch promotion
East Hockey Division 2N St Ives 4 Ipswich III 2 CLUB captain Andy Land has called on St Ives to clinch the title after securing promotion on Saturday. Saints need just three points from their remaining three fixtures to claim a deserved title and Land has
East Hockey Division 2N
St Ives 4 Ipswich III 2
CLUB captain Andy Land has called on St Ives to clinch the title after securing promotion on Saturday.
Saints need just three points from their remaining three fixtures to claim a deserved title and Land has called for focus in the side.
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He said: "Iain McIntosh [team captain] has got the team focussed on winning the league - promotion from the runners-up spot is not an option.
"There is a firm belief in the club that we can do well in the higher grade and we are already gearing training around our expected promotion."
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St Ives, in determined mood knowing what was at stake, did not fail to deliver and right from the first whistle Ipswich struggled to keep pace with the lively home team.
Joe Brennan opened the scoring with a trademark reverse-stick strike from the top of the penalty circle, much to the delight of the home crowd.
The league leaders were flowing and although Ipswich competed hard, Simon Johnson in the St Ives goal was a relative spectator for most of the first half.
Derrick Pope finished off a fine solo run with another reverse strike, helpfully deflected in by the visiting centre-back for Saints' second goal and soon after a fierce strike from a penalty corner bagged Pope his second of the game.
Brennan capped off another excellent performance in midfield by picking up the ball after some good work by Alex Drummond and firing Saints four up with his own second leaving Ipswich dead if not buried at half time.
The second half saw Ipswich - with little to lose - throw everything forward and St Ives had to work hard to maintain possession and nullify the visiting threat.
Ipswich did manage to score a consolation but Brennan was unlucky to see a chance of a hat-trick blocked on the line.
St Ives II recorded a comfortable 4-2 win over a very moderate Wisbech side. Saints' performance was patchy with fast-passing movements interspersed with silly mistakes but they opened the scoring through Will Webster and Chris Bollom made it two from a well worked short corner.
The same players each added a second to their tally before the home side nicked two in reply during the last quarter of an hour.
St Ives III entertained high-flying Alford but despite goals from James Cahill and Andy Moore went down 4-2, while Saints IV hammered six past Cambs Nomads without reply
St Ives Ladies suffered a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of City of Peterborough, while Saints II 3-3 with Saffron Walden in the Ladies Cup and St Ives III made a long and fruitless journey to Market Deeping, losing 5-1.
St Neots men are likely to be facing St Ives next season after a 10-2 defeat at Wisbech in East Premier B all-but consigned them to relegation.