HOCKEY: Horncastle men record seventh straight win

Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team with Luke McCluskey from Tesco who donated to the club's 'Pitch In' campaign for the resurfacing of the astroturf.
Horncastle Hockey Club men's first team with Luke McCluskey from Tesco who donated to the club's 'Pitch In' campaign for the resurfacing of the astroturf.

Horncastle Men’s 1st XI 6

Ely Men’s 1st XI 1

Horncastle Hockey Club men’s first XI hosted Ely at home on Saturday, hoping to continue their fine run of league wins this season.

After a delayed start, Horncastle started the game strongly, moving the ball around the pitch with pace and purpose.

With the forward three of Cam Foster, Jake Fixture and Dave Seymour causing problems, the first Horncastle goal came soon after the start with captain Rob Scott finishing off a well-worked move. After continued pressure on the Ely goal, Scott once again scored, this time via a short corner, finishing off the routine on the second attempt.

With a two goal cushion and Ely reluctant to press the home defence, the Horncastle back line were able to hold possession and pass into the midfield and forward lines with ease. This pressure soon resulted

in another short corner which was dispatched via Foster with a drag-flick into the bottom left hand corner of the goal for 3-0 at half time.

After a positive half time team talk, Horncastle continued to dominate possession. After several missed chances, Foster grabbed his second of the game from open play.

The next Horncastle goal came via a well-worked move down the right side of the pitch, with fine play from Luke Castleden setting up defender Adam Cartwright for a lethal finish from four yards out. Soon after, Foster completed his hat trick, with a neat finish adding to his impressive goal tally for the season.

The only negative for Horncastle came near the end of the game when a defensive mix up resulted in the first and only short corner for Ely, which was scored with a straight strike from the top of the D.

Overall it was a fine performance from the Horncastle men in their seventh straight win of the season. They now travel to St Neots in what promises to be a tough match for the unbeaten side.

St Ives Ladies 2nd XI 2

Horncastle Ladies’ 1st XI 0

Horncastle ladies made their way over to St Ives this week, missing a few of their regular starting 11.

The newly promoted Horncastle side have had a formidable start to the season, with two wins and very marginal losses against some very strong sides. Missing players meant a slight shift in position for some of the team, and therefore the ladies had their work cut out.

St Ives won the toss and chose to push back and on their home turf made a very strong attacking start, making use of their advantage. Horncastle retaliated and gained back possession on their defensive line, and moved forward with the ball.

Unfortunately, this was intercepted by the home team and they made a quick advance towards goal, catching out the Horncastle defence who were pushing forward to attack. A St Ives attacker took the final touch just by the side of the post, on a strong ball sent from the top of the D to score the home team a goal minutes into the game.

Horncastle used the conceded goal as momentum to push forward and attack, meaning that the remainder of the first half gave Horncastle chances to get into the attacking D. However, they were held at bay by a comfortable home team defence.

Just before the half time break, St Ives once again took a very quick interception from Horncastle and made an advance at goal. The shot was on target but Lottie Hopwood raced back and sent it wide.

Following the break, Horncastle went back on with a determination to get on the score sheet. With several chances created by Ali McConnachie who had been pivotal in moving the ball forward throughout, supported strongly by Alice Cannon and Steph Brayshaw in midfield. However, once again strong defending meant that Horncastle’s attack were unable to convert.

On a final short corner for St Ives, yet to convert a setpiece regardless of their powerful attempts due to saved shots from keeper Laura Neame and her defence, St Ives decided to change their set-up, going for the slip shot which was unfortunately put just inside of the player defending the post.

Player of the match was Ali McConnachie.