HOCKEY: Horncastle men extend unbeaten run

Hockey news.
Hockey news.

St Neots Men’s 1st XI 1

Horncastle Men’s 1st XI 3

Unbeaten this season, Horncastle Hockey Club men’s first XI played away to hosts St Neots.

The visitors went in front following a counter attack, which St Neot’s thought they had dealt with sufficiently by putting the ball out just outside of their 23 for a sideline ball.

A darting run into the corner from Dave Seymour to receive the quick pass from the sideline ball caught the St Neots defence off guard. This left a gap through to the far post where Fixter picked Seymour’s drilled pass and, from a tight angle on his reverse, hit the ball into the unsuspecting keeper which deflected into the goal.

St Neots responded quickly when midfielder stick skills and interplay won them a short corner. Despite the short being dealt with effectively by Horncastle, a subsequent short corner was given by the official. The initial attempt on goal was blocked by A. Cartwright, but the on rush of attackers soon found their feet and converted the chance well to leave the game 1-1 at half time.

A quick team talk at half time spurred the Horncastle team to keep their work rate up and this was rewarded with a short corner which Cam Foster neatly dragged between the keeper and post man.

St Neots began to show signs of tiredness and although an initial burst provided a counter attacking opportunity, the ball was quickly shifted back into their half and link-up play between Robert Scott and Foster won Horncastle another short corner. Fantastic stick skills from well deserved man-of-the-match Foster saw him beat three players and his shot on goal deflected off a St Neots stick and into the back of the goal.

Although a little manic at times due to some interesting passages of play, Horncastle showed why they are top of the league and came away with a well fought victory. At home to Leadenham next week, Horncastle will be hoping to extend their fine form.

Horncastle Ladies’ 1st XI 0

Huntingdon Ladies’ 1st XI 0

Horncastle ladies’ eighth game of the season was at home to fellow mid-table team, Huntingdon.

The newly-promoted Horncastle side have been holding their own in the higher league, and this was demonstrated again this week. Horncastle won the toss and had first push back, starting the game with an attacking drive deep into the opposition’s half.

Throughout the first half, Horncastle seemed to have the slight advantage, making some strong advances into Huntingdon’s D. An excellent short pass across the D from Abbey Harris set Stephanie Brayshaw up perfectly for a strong strike which narrowly missed a deflection on the back post by Fliss Beall.

With 10 minutes of the first half left, both teams had their attacking chances with a number of short corners. Horncastle put their practised set-pieces to work but narrowly avoided being able to edge ahead on the scoreboard.

Defensively, Horncastle were strong, with some amazing saves from goalkeeper and captain Laura Neame.

Horncastle started the second half in their new found playing pattern of short, quick passes, demonstrated well by midfielders Alice Cannon and Brayshaw, and to the attacking front line of Harris and Ali McConnachie. This created further chances which were unable to get past the Huntingdon goalkeeper.

The second half bought more short corner chances from both teams. Huntingdon’s short corner attempts were stopped well by the defenders Emily Tokelove, Alex Tokelove, Jo Beach and Tamsin Roark, with further brilliant saves from player-of-the-match Neame.

This weekend sees Horncastle Ladies away to Spalding 2nd XI.