All smiles for St Neots after high-scoring win over St Ives
- Credit: GARY LEYSHON
Both of the first teams at St Neots Hockey Club had reason to celebrate thanks to two fine performances.
The men took the honours though with an incredible 7-4 win at home to near rivals St Ives seconds.
The well-drilled visitors got off to a good start and took the lead early on before everything changed.
St Neots left-back Owen Edwards levelled from a short corner and then Chris Butterworth put Saints ahead from another.
Strikers Phil McMorris and Sam Evans combined to add three more, McMorris getting two of them although Evans’ strike was the best of the bunch, on the turn and finding the bottom corner past a sprawling keeper after connecting with a speculative long pass.
But St Ives were not done yet and they had two back as a breathless first-half finished 5-3 in favour of the hosts.
That advantage grew again with McMorris completing his hat-trick at the start of the second half but St Ives were again quick to respond with a fourth goal.
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That came them within touching distance until Brad Forsdick struck again for Saints, although the defensive savvy of Ian Moor and and saves from the home keeper to ensure no more goals.
Jacob Weir got two of the St Ives goals with Nathanial Edwards and Adam Maltby getting the others.
In the same division St Ives's first team enjoyed a 2-1 win over promotion rivals Kettering, jumping above their opponents and into second.
They had a superb start with James Harris converting a penalty corner in the first minute.
A break in play for a serious shoulder injury to a Kettering defender, one which required a trip to hospital, initially didn't seem to affect them but by half-time the two sides were level.
However, the second period was dominated by St Ives and they bagged the winner from another short corner, top scorer Adam Wilson making the crucial hit.
And they saw the rest of the game out in relative comfort, debutant goalkeeper Owen Bigwood in particular a calm presence throughout.
The Ladies meanwhile hosted a Norwich Dragons side who had beaten them 2–0 at the start of the season.
This, however, is a very different Saints side and they will feel disappointed that the final result was a 1-1 draw.
St Neots dominated the match from the first to the final whistle, with captain Emma Cody scoring first from a short corner.
Dragons equalised against the run of play before half-time and the second half remarkably didn't change the final score despite Caz Osbourne, Tanya Sargeant, Chloe Pinn, Sadie Werrett and Ella Roberts all hitting the post.
Elsewhere frozen pitches brought postponements to some of the sides.
Some did play although there wasn't too much in the way of happy returns.
A scratch team representing the ladies' seconds travelled to Spalding without their captain and five regular players.
Natasha Pope scored Saints’ only goal with the 8-1 defeat not totally reflecting the competitiveness and spirit of the last-minute call ups.
Back over in the men's section, the thirds lost 4-0 to St Ives fourths, Richard Kellett, Charlie Bradshaw and Richard Corbett (two) on target, and the seconds 5-0 to Long Sutton.
The other positive result for St Ives was a 3-0 win for the ladies' fourths over Pelicans with two goals from Iona Poole and Becky Jones.