St Neots Hockey Club busy but still take time to help Captain Tom Foundation
- Credit: TIM BETTSWORTH
St Neots Hockey Club continue to build to a time when they can play competitive games against other clubs but there is still plenty of things going on at the club regardless.
Two of their number have been rewarded with call-ups to Cambridgeshire’s elite performance squad.
Goalkeeper Ben Knights is returning to the squad, considered to be one level below national teams, while 16-year-old Luca Moor, already shining in the midifeld for Saints, also gets the nod.
Several other players were back in action for Cambs county teams.
Four of the club's trainee umpires took to the pitch for the first time as part of the national drive to increase the number of match officials.
Rosie Bettsworth (18) and sister Ellie (16) took charge of a ladies mixed match and while both were nervous, Ellie admitting she’d rather be doing physics GCSE revision, both were under the supervision of the club's chairwoman and national umpire, Helen Sargeant.
She joined up with daughter Tanya for her first go in the middle before sharing duties with Alex Bird, who had the task of officiating a head-to-head between the ladies’ first and second teams.
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St Neots followed all that up with a mammoth 100-minute game between the club committee and the U18s to raise money for Captain Sir Tom's challenge.
Longsands Academy waived the pitch hire too, allowing all fees to go to the Captain Tom Foundation.
The youngsters started strongly, Ben Knights getting two but the experienced committee struck back with a Ben Seaber goal.
He scored again but by the end of the first half a double from Eleanor Pybus gave the U18s a 4–2 lead.
However, the committee’s greater numbers began to tell in the third quarter. Iain Moor was first to score, followed by men’s club captain Brad Forsdick.
Luca Moor restored the youngsters' lead but Seaber's hat-trick levelled it again at 5-5.
Jamie Cluer for the committee and 16-year-old Summer Payne traded goals but Chris Butterworth looked to have won it for the committee with a late goal.
However, there was a sting in the tail and in the 99th minute, 18-year-old first-team midfielder Charlie Churms, a Saint since she was six, found the backboard for a deserved equaliser and 7-7.
So far just shy of £900 has been raised but to donate, go to the club's Facebook page or the website.