Louth Hockey: First XI strengthen maintain lead as Cambridge dispatched

Only one Louth Hockey Club senior team recorded a victory last weekend as the men’s first XI maintained their league lead with a 5-0 win against Cambridge South.

Rob Chamberlin and Alex Bell were both on target against Cambridge as the First XI strengthened their promotion push Picture: David Dales EMN-190128-150248002

Elsewhere the men’s second team lost 3-1 at league leaders Bourne Deeping in a top-of-the-table clash, while both ladies’ teams lost, the firsts 6-0 at Tadcaster Magnets, and the Seconds 5-1 at home to Long Sutton.

Louth men’s first team began well at home to Cambridge South Fourth XI, passing it around the back and waiting for the opportunity to arrive.

Not long into the first half Seb Darke managed to convert through a sublime reverse-stick shot into the near side of the goal.

George Cruickshank levelled for the Second XI in their top-of-the-table defeat at Bourne PICTURE: David Dales EMN-190128-150449002

Continuing the excellent play, Rob Chamberlin managed to get his first of the game with another reverse.

Soon after Chamberlin added his second, firing home after a well-worked ball was played into the D and deflected to him at the back post.

Towards half-time, Cambridge began to get sloppy and Louth took advantage, stealing the ball and drilling it into the top corner for a 4-0 lead.

The second half started slowly for the home side, with Cambridge putting them under more pressure.

However, Louth ploughed on and still managed to create a hatful of chances.

They finally added their fifth goal through Alex Bell to maintain a seven-point lead at the top of East League Division 5NW.

On Saturday, the first team travel to St Ives for a 3pm start.

* Louth men’s seconds slipped to defeat at Division 6NW leaders Bourne.

The seconds survived some early pressure, but Bourne went ahead with a deflected goal.

Goalkeeper Richard Hill made some good saves in a man-of-the-match performance to keep Louth in the game, and they equalised when George Cruickshank tapped home from a cross.

But the home side restored their lead just before half-time at 2-1 going into the second half.

Despite some good play in patches, Louth failed to test the keeper and Bourne added a third from close range to make the final score 3-1.

* Louth ladies seconds travelled to Long Sutton who started with only nine players.

But the hosts were soon up to full strength when some of their first team players arrived from an earlier game, and with this in mind, Louth knew it would be a tough game.

The visitors had first push-back with an attack on the Long Sutton goal, but the home keeper was on great form.

Long Sutton started their onslaught, but the defence somehow kept the ball out of the goal, backed up by a strong midfield.

Yet, shortly before half-time Long Sutton were awarded a short corner, one of many during the match.

Louth kept the ball out of the goal, but Long Sutton scored the opener on the rebound.

The second half continued in the same vein with Long Sutton attacking and forcing the keeper into some fantastic saves to keep Louth in the game.

Long Sutton scored twice more, but Louth took the ball upfield with great passing into their opponents’ D, where they were awarded a short corner.

The ball was struck cleanly, but saved by the keeper, before a Louth forward was on hand to slot the ball into the net from the rebound to gain some consolation in the 5-1 defeat.