St Ives side overcome shortage of players to boost survival bid with fine success

Action from St Neots Men's 1sts victory against Wisbech 2nds. Picture: HELEN DRAKE

Action from St Neots Men's 1sts victory against Wisbech 2nds. Picture: HELEN DRAKE - Credit: Archant

St Ives Men’s 1sts triumphed in adversity to ignite their East Men’s League survival bid last Saturday.

The basement side could only name a bare 11 for a clash against Ipswich 2nds in Division Two North, but responded with a 7-2 success earned by their best performance of the season.

They fell behind early on before Jacob Aldridge levelled from open play. Penalty corner goals from Pete Liddle and James Lloyd then put them in command.

Ipswich halved their arrears but St Ives responded with a terrific second-half showing to storm to victory.

Calum Cleland, Lloyd, Rory Mooney and first-team debutant Cameron Seton were all on target as they moved to within a point of climbing off the bottom of the table.

Jamie Sewell hit a consolation goal as the 2nds went down 4-1 to City of Peterborough 5ths in a Division Three North-West relegation battle.

They fell into the drop-zone as a result of the defeat.

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The 3rds remain rooted to the foot of the Division Four North-West standings after going down 6-4 to City of Peterborough 6ths while the 4ths were thumped 7-1 by Long Sutton 3rds.

St Neots Men’s 1sts have certainly brought in the new year with a bang.

They continued a fine run of form which has launched them into contention for a top-three finish in Division Three North-West.

Player-coach Jamie Cluer, Brett Nunn and Darren Coles – courtesy of a penalty stroke – hit the goals in a smooth 3-0 success against Wisbech 2nds.

They remain unbeaten since the turn of the year and have lost only one of their last eight games.

While the 1sts have probably left it too late to mount a promotion challenge, the 2nds are almost home and hosed in Division Five North-West.

Captain Danny Stevenson hit a hat-trick as the table-toppers extended their perfect record to 14 games with a 6-1 victory at March Town 2nds.

Chris Butterworth, Josh Draper and Sean Sanderson also found the net.

The three other St Neots sides can be found sitting in formation of rank in Division Six North-West (South).

The second-placed 3rds received a 5-0 walkover against City of Peterborough 9ths while the fourth-placed 5ths had to work much harder for a 3-0 victory against St Ives 5ths.

Sam Lawman broke the deadlock in the Hunts derby clash before Rupet Jacques and Phil Sergeant, who had seen an earlier strike disallowed, completed the scoring.

The 4ths remain third despite being beaten 3-0 by City of Peterborough 8ths.

St Neots Men’s Over 40s were unable to progress to the quarter-finals of the England Hockey Trophy after suffering a 7-2 defeat to Stevenage in a last 16 clash. St Neots had beaten Hertford on penalty flicks in the previous round.