Leadenham Hockey Club Second XI continued their winning streak with a show of strength against Spalding, to open up a four-point lead with just four games remaining.
The hosts tried to force play by trying to dribble past too many players, or attempt unlikely passes, but a stern half-time team talk got them playing closer to their usual ways.
Neil Ireland fired in two penalty corner goals from the top of the D, with John Simpson, Joe Beardall and Nick Playford also finding the net.
Captain and man-of-the-match Sam Darling completed a 6-1 win with a well-taken goal.
Team: S. Chambers, A. Cade, B. Russell, F. Naylor, I. Gray, J. Beardall, T. Adams, D. Case, J. Simpson, S. Darling (c), N. Ireland, J. Ireland, N. Playford.
* Leadenham’s First XI picked up a hard-fought point against March.
Captain Nathan Chambers changed the formation to counter-attack and it paid off within 10 minutes.
Slick passing and a well-practiced training ground routine saw David Nelstrop catch the March defence off-guard and play a pass to Sam MacAllister who deflected the ball under the keeper.
Ben Huggins then launched an aerial straight into the March D, where Chambers volleyed a second with a skilful reverse shot.
But disappointing start to the second half saw Leadenham ship three quick goals, two from penalty corners.
However, Leadenham refused to buckle and quickly countered.
Tom Corbett drove into the D down the right before cutting the ball back to man-of-the-match Matt Ortyl who finished into the bottom corner.
The draw kept Leadenham’s hopes of league survival alive, opening up a healthier gap between the bottom two teams.
Team: T. Pinchbeck, F. Mack, N. Baldwin, T. Cade, J. Porter, C. Cade, B. Huggins, T. Corbett, D. Nelstrop, N. Chambers (C), S. MacAllister, M. Ortyl, C. Wright.
* The men’s third team moved up to a very respectable third place in the league after a fantastic 7-1 win at Bourne Deepings.
Charlie Gretton, playing just his second game of league hockey, opened the scoring, with Finn Adams and captain Gaz Kirton extending the lead.
A brace each for Nick Mountain and Steve Gretton completed the away victory.
James Pearson was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet after a fine performance in the middle.
* Louth put Leadenham Ladies’ defence under a lot of pressure in a closely-fought game.
But the sterling work of player-of-the-match Molly Mountain and fellow centre-back Laura Jacometti kept them out and ensured another clean sheet.
The rock-solid defence also helped their transition into attacks, with Jacometti’s beautiful through ball allowing Sally Darling to finish.
Llinos Jones made it 2-0 with a diving reverse-stick volley straight into the top corner, and Majella Wright capped a 3-0 win following a brilliant team move involving almost every player.
Team: S. Garrick, L. Jacometti, S. Croft, E. Goulding, A. Jacometti, S. Walker ©, M. Wright, R. Campbell, C. Wright, S. Darling, B. Bennett, L. Jones, M. Mountain, G. Dring.