Leadenham Hockey Club First XI returned to form with a hard-earned away point at an experienced St Neots side.
St Neots raced into an early lead with two quickfire goals in five minutes.
But with Leadenham fearing another heavy defeat, captain Nathan Chambers led the team’s comeback, winning the ball off his opposing wing-back, dribbling past a defender and smashing it past the ‘keeper.
The goal galvanised the visitors into upping their defensive efforts, and for the rest of the game the non-stop work rate of the back five limited St Neots to short corners.
The midfield pair of Ben Huggins and man-of-the-match Tom Corbett covered every inch of the pitch, and ensured Leadenham had most of the possession.
The hosts were rescued by their superb keeper who made at least three fantastic saves to deny certain goals.
Leadenham finally broke through when Chambers’ clever through-ball found Morgan Bévis who teed up Sam MacAllister to slot home from close range.
The visitors pushed for a late winner, but were again denied by the quick reactions of the home keeper.
But a pleasing comeback after the previous shock result and a well-won point against tough opponents.
Team: S. Chambers, F. Mack, N. Baldwin, T. Cade, N. Chambers (C), J. Porter, B. Huggins, T. Corbett, S. MacAllister, C. Cade, C. Wright, M. Bévis.
* Leadenham HC host the first round of the England Hockey Mixed Cup on Sunday when they face Lindum Mixed Second XI at RAF Cranwell (noon start). Supporters are welcome.
* Leadenham Ladies’ First XI hosted Spalding, and a frenetic first half saw chances for both sides as the balance of play ebbed and flowed.
Leadenham struck first through Sally Darling, but Spalding immediately put the defence under pressure.
They worked well together to repel Spalding’s attacks and ensure keeper Susan Garrick was again largely untested.
In the second half, player-of-the-match Meg Campbell showed her class in midfield, constantly finding space and making life difficult for her opponents.
The hard work paid off when Ciara Wright doubled the lead, and soon after Majella Wright made it 3-0, with her first goal for the club.
Determined Spalding continued to attack, winning a short corner and scoring, but the goal was disallowed for the shot being outside of the D.
Millie Hindmarch then completed a 4-0 win for Leadenham.
* Leadenham Men’s Second XI started off the pace against Alford, with passes going astray and a lack of control disrupting their passing style.
But they went ahead from a melee in the Alford D with the ball ricocheting around until it fell to the ever-reliable James Ireland who found the net.
Alford responded with a period of steady possession, but could not break down a defence led by the authoritative Sam Darling.
His efforts earned him the man-of-the-match award, and with Ben Russell and Ed Groves they managed to stop most Alford attacks before they could threaten keeper Pinchbeck.
Ireland made it 2-0 with a penalty stroke, before Alford almost stole a goal from a nicked deflection in the D, but Darling was on hand again to protect the goal-line.
And Ireland put the game to bed with a third, his eighth goal in six games this season.
Team: T. Pinchbeck (c), E. Groves, F. Naylor, B. Russell, R. Booth, S. Darling, T. Adams, D. Case, N. Ireland, J. Ireland, N. Playford, I. Gray, J. Simpson.
* A hotly-contested late pushback finished with Leadenham’s Third XI picking up a point away to a youthful Peterborough side.
Captain Gaz Kinton was punished for arguing with the umpire and given a two-minute sin bin, but the team held strong and contained the threat.
A second half short corner broke the deadlock in Peterborough’s favour, but Leadenham rallied well and fought their way back into the game.
Kinton passed through to man-of-the-match Stan Mountain, who controlled it well at full-stretch, beat his marker, and slotted under the keeper to level.
Team: S. Corbett, M. Pearce, A. Cade, G. Kinton (C), N. Mountain, S. Mountain, K. Pearson, S. Brown, J. Kay, O. Down, F. Adams.