St Neots pleased to be able to get some hockey action in before the Christmas break

Lorna Marshall and Sophie Faulkner battle it out. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH

Lorna Marshall and Sophie Faulkner battle it out. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH - Credit: Archant

A mixture of friendlies and league clashes saw St Neots go into the Christmas break with some hockey under their belts.

The ladies' first team at St Neots Hockey Club show off their new strips. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH

The ladies' first team at St Neots Hockey Club show off their new strips. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH - Credit: Archant

Stars of the day, as they have been for the majority of the season so far, were the ladies’ fifth team who claimed a 6-2 success at Harpenden.

The pair had gone into the game as the top two in Division Eight South West of the East Hockey League but the victory, their eighth in a row, means Saints are now 10 points clear.

Player of the match Georgina Bettsworth’s reverse-stick flick from a short corner was the pick of her three goals while Aoife Stokes chipped in with one and Ruby Lane two in what was another superb team performance.

The first and seconds came together for a friendly and there was little to separate the two until Caroline Osborne smashed a thunderbolt into the corner from the top of the D.

Caz Osbourne is shadowed by seconds' club-mate Ellie Bettsworth. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH

Caz Osbourne is shadowed by seconds' club-mate Ellie Bettsworth. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH - Credit: Archant

She almost did the same in the second half but second-team captain, Paula Bingham, was able to deflect it onto the frame of the goal.

The seconds also created some great chances but were unable to penetrate an impressive back-line in a good-spirited but extremely competitive contest.

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The thirds meanwhile came up short against Cambridge South, going down to a 7-0 loss. That was partly because of an injury to their keeper who had to retire early.

There was still some good play, particularly from player of the match Sophie Hawkes, but the team will go into the Christmas break knowing there is work to be done.

Caz Osbourne in action for St Neots. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH

Caz Osbourne in action for St Neots. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH - Credit: Archant

A restructured men’s section came out of their five-week break with captains Chris Butterworth and Mike Hornby leading the first team to a 3–1 victory against the Seconds in another friendly.

The third team went down 4-2 at home to Ely City with the visitors taking a two-goal lead early on.

Bradley Forsdick pulled one back from a short corner and then former first-team skipper, Ben Seaber, who has just hung up his goalie pads to play outfield, brought Saints level with a reverse-stick zinger.

However, Ely ramped up the pressure in the last quarter and although an indefatigable Mark Harrison charged down two short corners, a third found its way in before they added a fourth.

Ben Seaber in action for St Neots. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH

Ben Seaber in action for St Neots. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH - Credit: Archant

The same score also saw the fourths lose at Cambridge South.

Alex Bird in action for St Neots. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH

Alex Bird in action for St Neots. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH - Credit: Archant

Brad Forsdick in action for St Neots. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH

Brad Forsdick in action for St Neots. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH - Credit: Archant

Ben Seaber and Brad Forsdick both scored for St Neots against Ely City. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH

Ben Seaber and Brad Forsdick both scored for St Neots against Ely City. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH - Credit: Archant

Mark Harrison charges down a short corner. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH

Mark Harrison charges down a short corner. Picture: TIM BETTSWORTH - Credit: Archant

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