East League - EML Division 2N
Horncastle Men’s 1sts 9
St Neots Men’s 1sts 0
Horncastle Hockey Club’s Men’s Firsts returned to action with a nine-goal salvo as they thrashed visitiors St Neots.
This East League - EML Division 2N contest ended 9-0 in the favour of the highflying hosts, who showed no rustiness in their first match since December 8.
The result makes it 12 wins and one draw from the season so far.
With the winter break over, it was time for Horncastle to blow off the cobwebs and continue winning ways.
Quick passing and slick movement nearly had Horncastle one up in the opening minutes, only to be denied by a quick reaction save.
It didn’t take long for the opening goal to arrive, Scott finding himself in the D and finishing off a reverse sweep.
St Neots tried to work themselves out of their half through aerials, however that was no match for the Horncastle defence, who stood strong across the back line.
A 15-minute burst from Horncastle saw Bennett score and array of goals for his first, second and third, leaving the score 4-0 before half time.
Horncastle wanted to make a statement and came out for the second half the same way they finished the first.
Fast, flowing hockey allowed Bennett space to run, finding a perfect hit across goal which Harris was able to slap into the goal.
Horncastle’s youngest player, M. Cullen, soon got on the scoresheet for his first goal of the season, sweeping home on the back post.
Horncastle’s midfield dominated the game, allowing space to be found all over the field, which was soon capitalised upon by Scott, scoring his second, and White, who coolly finished a reverse shot.
Man of the Match Partridge was involved in the final goal, finding Harris in space near the D.
J. Ashton completed his first clean sheet of the season.
On Saturday Horncastle host City of Peterborough Fifth (1.30pm).
East League - EWL Division 3NW
Horncastle Ladies’s 1sts 4
Spalding 2nds 1
Horncastle Ladies’s Firsts began the second half of the season with a 4-1 home success against Spalding Seconds.
Knowing that the away side would travel well, Horncastle expected to have their work cut out.
The home side took charge, keeping possession in the first 10 minutes but finding themselves unable to cross the line.
Spalding fought back well, but teamwork between defender Cullen and goalkeeper Neame kept stopped them scoring.
Horncastle were outdone on the counter attak as Spalding capitalised on a hole in the hosts’s midfield and took the lead.
But this gave Horncastle the neccessary push they needed.
Earning themselves a short corner, Roark coolly and confidently placed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to level. The goal gave Horncastle the confidence once again to push forward and Beall, using her excellent control, took the ball round several defenders and calmly placed it past the keeper to make it 2-1.
After the break, brilliant teamwork from the Tokelove sisters meant the defence were the first line of attack from the back.
Driving up the right-hand side of the pitch, the ball was sent from the baseline to a perfectly-placed Williams, whose accurate first touch crossed the line, widening the home side’s lead.
A final push from Horncastle saw White drive the sideline, break into the D and powerfully slide a ball into the goal on the far post.
It was by no means an easy game, Horncastle made to work hard by the away side who created several of their own chances.
The Player of the Match was Fliss Beall.
The side are at home to City of Peterborough Thirds on Saturday (11.30am).
East League - EML Division 5NW
Cambridge City 6ths 5
Horncastle Men’s 2nds 0
The Men’s Seconds were beaten 5-0 at Cambridge City Sixths in their first match after Christmas.
The away side started briskly, passing around well and putting Cambridge on the back foot.
But, despite being in control for the opening 15 minutes, the side failed to capitalise on it, and first blood was drawn by Cambridge.
They quickly followed that up with a second.
By half time Horncastle still felt in the game and started the second half positively.
They continued to push, but a bit of poor defending and a good pass by Cambridge meant the hosts scored their third.
Despite the setback, the Seconds continued fighting but just couldn’t find the net, despite more than a few chances.
Cambridge did make the most of their opportunities and scored scored two more.
On Saturday the Seconds travel to St Neots Thirds (1pm).
East League - EWL Division 4NW(N)
Spalding 3rds 3
Horncastle Ladies 1
Horncastle Ladies’s Seconds made their way to Spalding Thirds expecting a close game after beating them 1-0 at home earlier in the season.
Spalding scored two early goals as Horncastle got used to playing together again after their break. However, a stronger performance for the remaining first half meant that they were held off from scoring any more.
The second half was much stronger from Horncastle, winning plenty of penalty corners and Melissa Sharpe scoring a goal from open play.
Captain Annabel Rinfret stepped up to the mark when she saved her first official penalty flick of the season which boosted Horncastle’s spirit as they pushed for an equaliser.
However, it was not to be, with Spalding scoring another goal in the final 30 seconds.
The team are away at City of Peterborough Fourths on Saturday (12.30pm).