An injury crisis saw a depleted Leadenham men’s first team make their way to Cambridge missing five regulars.
Leadenham started the stronger and grabbed an early goal with a training ground move.
Captain Nathan Chambers slapped the ball through the defence and into space for Dan Cade to latch onto and smartly play it around the keeper.
The game then swayed Cambridge’s way as they applied sustained pressure and levelled from open play before quickly adding a second after from a penalty corner.
There was no let-up in the second half, as the beleaguered Leadenham defence shipped two more goals after conceding several penalty corners.
With time running out and the score at 4-1, James Porter, Tom Corbett and Morgan Beavis worked the ball quickly down the right to set up Ian Sanderson for his first goal of the season.
Immediately after the restart a solo effort saw centre-back Tom Cade charge through most of the Cambridge team before smashing the ball into the top corner on his reverse.
With moments to go Cade looked set to level the game, but as he made his way forward the full-time whistle blew to leave Leadenham agonisingly short of a draw.
Leadenham M1: S. Chambers, J. Porter, A. Cade, T. Cade, N. Chambers (c), B. Huggins, T. Corbett, D. Cade, C. Wright, M. Beavis, I. Sanderson, H. Hunter-Letham.
* Leadenham Hockey Club Ladies fought back to earn a draw against an experienced Peterborough side on Saturday.
They took a little while to find their feet and Peterborough capitalised on a defensive error to fire the ball into the top corner for an early lead.
This spurred Leadenham into action and the rest of the half was spent around the Peterborough D.
Player-of-the-match Ellie Talton scored a beautiful goal to equalise, assisted by the skilful Sally Darling.
In the second half Leadenham continued to dominate, with Ciara Wright and Llinos Jones controlling the centre of the park as Peterborough were penned in.
Their infrequent attacks were soaked up well by Molly Mountain at the back, and Peterborough’s stubborn defensive effort finally looked to have been broken when Leadenham were awarded a penalty stroke.
However, the chance was missed, and despite a flurry of late short corners, the scores remained level.
Team: S. Garrick, G. Dring, M. Campbell, S. Amess, L. Jacometti, E. Talton, S. Gretton, L. Jones, S. Walker (c), S. Darling, L. Walker, M. Mountain, C. Wright, I. Glaves.
* In a fiercely competitive inter-club league game, Leadenham men’s second team continued their 100 per cent start to the season and stayed top with victory over their Third XI clubmates.
The Thirds started strongest, with Stan Mountain denied an early goal by Neil Baldwin’s recovery tackle.
The more experienced second team found their rhythm as the game went on and James Ireland’s composed finish opened the scoring.
Ireland continued his run of fine form with another goal just before half-time.
After the break, third team captain Gaz Kirton led the charge to try, but was stopped by fine saves from Thomas Pinchbeck.
The final act of the game was a penalty corner which Rory Booth deflected home to quash any hopes of a comeback.
Leadenham M3: P. Case, S. Mountain, N. Mountain, G. Kirton (c), M. Pearce, G. Lodge, M. Wriggley, O. Robertson, O. Down, S. Baker, T. Adams.
Leadenham M2: T. Pinchbeck (c), B. Russell, J. Beardall, N. Ireland, F. Naylor, N. Baldwin, S. Darling, R. Booth, N. Playford, J. Ireland, D. Case.
* Leadenham would like to thank the umpires and club sponsors Mountains Skip Hire.