Leadenham Hockey Club made a mixed start to the new year after nearly a full month off with the Christmas break and match postponements.
Leadenham Ladies made the most of their well-rested legs as they made the trip to Bourne Deeping Dragons, playing high tempo attacking hockey from beginning to end to earn a 10-0 win.
Player-of-the-match Ciara Wright converted a penalty flick, and was joined in the scoring by Katherine Price, Zoe Dunnett, Emily Smith, Sally Darling and an astonishing five goals from a lethal Katie Ireland.
But the men’s third team couldn’t match that result as they fell to defeat at home to another Bourne Deeping side whose intelligent use of substitutions kept the Thirds under consistent pressure.
Max Cullen put in a stand-out performance in midfield, but the match finished 3-0 to the visitors.
* The men’s firsts looked promising in the early stages of their fixture against Spalding, taking an early 3-0 lead through Will Dean, Will Cutler, and David Nelstrop.
However, the long winter lay-off had clearly impacted fitness levels as the hosts came back with two goals before half-time.
Spalding grabbed another early on in the second, but Leadenham seemed to kill the game off with a superb counter-attacking fourth, capped by Greg Amess’ finish.
But a defensive lapse allowed Spalding to score from a short corner and the game ended 4–4.
* The Seconds also visited Spalding, but managed to come away with all three points to maintain their spotless record in the league under new captain Thomas Pinchbeck.
Disciplined use of the high press enabled Leadenham to stifle the Spalding attacks early and spring effective counter-attacks.
The opening goal was a textbook example of passing hockey, with Benjamin Huggins demonstrating brilliant vision to pick out Jack Cullen at the edge of the Spalding D.
He then selflessly rolled the ball beyond the onrushing goalkeeper to Neil Ireland who needed little more than a tap-in to finish.
Further goals from Neil Ireland, Andy Carter and Sam Darling rounded off a good day for the two’s, however, fatigue did cause them to lose shape and allow Spalding a consolation goal late on in a 4-1 scoreline.