Leadenham Hockey Club sides maintain form despite change of schedule

Weekend action from Leadenham Hockey Club EMN-180219-112744002
Weekend action from Leadenham Hockey Club EMN-180219-112744002

Last weekend was scheduled as a week off for Leadenham Hockey Club, but December’s big freeze meant several games were re-arranged.

The men’s first team hosted Kettering who started the day top of Division Three and arrived looking to continue their impressive form.

Kettering went ahead following a spell of early pressure, but the big story of the game came next.

Nathan Chambers intercepted a loose pass and quickly switched play to attack, passing forward to Cam Salisbury.

The striker controlled the ball inside the D and released a deft flick to level.

Leadenham used this as a platform to build momentum, and soon after won a penalty flick following a bad challenge in the D. Captain Sam MacAllister stepped up, but sent his shot wide of the goal.

Kettering regained their confidence from that point and ran out eventual 5–1 winners.

* Leadenham’s ladies also played at home, welcoming Woodhall Spa.

Having taken top spot in their division a week earlier, Leadenham were full of confidence and another solid team performance included a couple of personal milestones.

Much of the play took place in the middle of the park, where the two sides were evenly-matched.

But Leadenham have been clinical in opposition territory this season and that superior movement and eye for goal made all the difference as Sally Darling opened the scoring.

A second followed when Woodhall committed a defensive mistake and conceded an own goal, before Katie Ireland scored her 30th of the season to make it 3–0 at the break.

Millie Armond kept her 10th clean sheet of her debut season as the home defence resisted a late surge from Woodhall.

This forward pressure left the visitors more open at the back and Florence Ireland and player-of-the-match Ciara Wright took advantage to make it 6-0 at full-time.

* The men’s third string continued to impress in their debut season with victory at Alford.

Controlling much of the first half possession, captain Andy Cade used his experience to break up play and recycle the ball into attacking positions.

A well-crafted penalty corner routine broke the deadlock when the ball was played out to Henry Young who slipped the ball beyond the onrushing Alford defenders to Jack Cullen who slotted home at the far post.

In the second half, Leadenham continued to win the lion’s share of 50/50 balls and took advantage of their youthful energy to keep play moving around the experienced Alford back line. Cullen added two more to seal a 3–0 win.

On Sunday, a Leadenham XI team welcomed Boots Hockey Club in the Mixed Plate.

Charlie Cade’s majestic slap shot levelled the scores after Boots had taken an early lead.

The visitors responded with two well-worked short corners, but Saturday heroes Jack Cullen and Katie Ireland combined to grab a second, before Kath Price converted a penalty corner to level it again at 3–3.

Laura Jacometti made several impressive challenges in defence to break up attacks, but consistent attacking pressure led to a penalty corner which Boots converted just before the final whistle.

The club would like to thank all of the umpires, opponents and club sponsors Mountains Skip Hire.