The penultimate fixtures of 2017 left Leadenham Hockey Club disappointed as they fell to two defeats in three matches on Saturday.
At home, LHC Ladies found themselves on the wrong end of a contentious goal decision to trail top of the league Spilsby early on.
But Sally Darling’s goal balanced the books before half-time.
Spilsby scored again as a much more physical second half began, before two quickfire penalty corner conversions from Katie Ireland gave Leadenham a slender advantage.
It wasn’t to last, however, as Spilsby’s aggressive play paid dividends, the away side scoring twice more to win 4–3.
* The men’s third team welcomed back Paul Swinburn from an injury lay-off, but lost another influential veteran in Richard Nelstrop after just three minutes.
Their opponents Wisbech fielded a skilful and energetic side and put Leadenham under immediate pressure to take the lead inside 10 minutes.
The game continued at a high tempo, but a solid defensive display and man-of-the-match performance from goalkeeper Simon Chambers kept the score close.
Leadenham improved in the second half, but were unable to pull a goal back to lose by the single goal.
* With the men’s first team’s match with Ely postponed due to their participation in the Indoor Hockey championships, the final game of the day was the late push back for the Seconds at Peterborough.
Captain Ant Chapman made a case for goal of the season with a superb long-range strike to open the scoring, and represented the high technical quality shown by the team in the opening exchanges.
Leadenham had to remain wary as Peterborough looked to counter-attack using aerial balls and quick forwards.
An unfortunate but severe facial injury seemed to shake the hosts late in the first half, limiting their use of the lifted ball, and allowing the visitors to capitalise on their dominance of the ground game.
Two further goals from Chapman, plus contributions from Jack Cullen and Andy Carter opened up a 5–0 lead, but a late surge from Peterborough tested the back line.
Thomas Pinchbeck in goal demonstrated good concentration to preserve a clean sheet.
The club offers thanks all of the umpires and sponsors Mountains Skip Hire.