Leadenham Hockey Club: Slick ladies hit five at Peterborough
The visitors immediately pressed City of Peterborough Fourths deep into their own half, and from an early penalty corner, Abby Christen slipped the ball to her right for Ciara Wright to score.
An impressive spell was capped by Sophie Gretton’s finish to double the lead.
Peterborough looked to be getting back into the match after the break, but Leadenham regained control with some excellent passing which led to Wright’s second goal.
At the back Susan Garrick outsmarted the hosts with good decision-making, but an argument between Llinos Jones and an opponent saw Christen intervene a little too forcefully, earning her a spell in the sin-bin.
But on her return to the pitch she received the ball in space and teed up Jones for a fourth goal.
Christen atoned even further for her green card by scoring Leadenham’s final goal, a strike from a penalty corner, assisted by Siobhan Croft.
* Leadenham men’s first team stayed just above the relegation places after a 3-2 defeat at Cambridge City Vets on Saturday.
A first half created few clear chances, but Charlie Cade, switching to wing-back, put in a stellar performance with excellent tackles and driving runs down the right.
But Cambridge overpowered Leadenham’s defence too frequently, and though Thomas Pinchbeck made some trademark acrobatic saves, he was at a loss to stop two first half goals.
Tom Corbett had a golden chance when put through for a shot, with the keeper already committed on the floor, but his effort was stopped by an outstretched hand.
Cambridge pulled further ahead with a third goal, but began to tire in the second half.
Captain Nathan Chambers put Sam MacAllister through one-on-one, and he nutmegged the keeper to pull one back.
Leadenham pushed their press higher up the pitch, with David Nelstrop stepping up into midfield, but each cross into the D was met by an opponent, or was agonisingly stopped on the line or intercepted.
Cambridge capped the game with a fourth goal from a penalty corner to further the frustration.
On Saturday, Leadenham travel to St Ives aiming to improve the transition from defence to attack, and their efficiency in front of goal.
* Leadenham Seconds produced a fine display to ruthlessly beat Long Sutton Thirds 8-0 at RAF Cranwell.
Against a Long Sutton team of experienced heads and young talent, Tobi Adams put in a man-of-the-match display in the centre of the park.
With James Ireland missing through illness, son Neil took full advantage to open the scoring with a straight strike from a penalty corner.
Captain Sam Darling led his team well, distributing well into the attacking third to keep the pressure up as frequent forays into Long Sutton’s D earned several penalty corners.
Ireland converted two more for a 3-0 half-time lead.
Simon Chambers, in goal, directed centre-back pair Ben Russel and Freddie Naylor to intercept attacks, and in the second half the keeper action was limited to a few clearances.
Fantastic work from John Simpson, Steve Gretton and Dan Case switched play from defence to attack and into dangerous areas all game.
Darling added a fourth, before Ireland finished off two more penalty corners, and then Darling capped the day with his second.
* A gutsy performance by Leadenham’s Third XI came up just short at Horncastle, losing 3-2 to the strongest side they have faced this season.
The hosts applied extreme pressure as their midfield linked cleverly with their forwards.
Excellent, and at times frantic, defence kept them at bay until 10 minutes from half-time.
But they didn’t have it all their own way and only excellent saves from the home keeper prevented an equaliser.
The half-time talk had an impact and Leadenham started brightest with some excellent runs by Nick Mountain.
The pressure told as newcomer Earl Matthews was rewarded with an excellent strike into the left-hand corner.
The goal stung the hosts into action and after more desperate defence, a sensational strike flew past Sean Corbett to restore the lead.
But the Thirds rallied in an end-to-end game, and with seven minutes left Matthews scored a stunning second with a pirouette and unstoppable shot to cap a man-of-the-match performance.
Yet Horncastle had the final word from a well-taken short corner in the final two minutes.
* Leadenham would like to thank all of the umpires and club sponsors Mountains Skip Hire.
To take part in junior hockey (ages 7 to 16), email [email protected]
Training is on Saturdays at RAF Cranwell from 10am to 11.30am.