Wisbech Town Hockey Club in action against the likes of Cambridge South, Kettering and Peterborough
Wisbech Town Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI were left frustrated on Saturday after they slipped to a narrow defeat against Cambridge South at Harecroft Road.
Wisbech started well, with player of the game Vicky Herbert linking up well with Amber Scott and Izzy Gowler down the left-hand side of the pitch during the early exchanges, before Wisbech took the lead through Georgie Dunn.
The visitors were quick to respond, but Lilian Ley restored Wisbech’s lead - only for Cambridge to again find a quick reply in a back-and-forth game.
Jo Gomm twice went close for Wisbech only to be denied by the Cambridge keeper, who made several strong saves to keep Wisbech at bay before the visitors were able to mount some pressure of their own. While Wisbech remained determined in defence, with Gowler making two goal-line clearances, Cambridge eventually grabbed a crucial third goal to claim victory.
The result leaves Wisbech just outside the relegation zone in eighth place on goal difference, with ninth-placed UEA holding a game in hand on the Fenland side. The picture is further complicated by 10th-placed Watton sitting just one point behind, while St. Neots and Cambridge University, sitting sixth and seventh respectively, could both also still be drawn into the relegation battle with five games to go.
With 11th-placed North Norfolk HC set to visit Harecroft Road on Saturday (1:45pm), Wisbech will be hoping to gain revenge for the 3-1 defeat at the Sheringham-based side in November and put some pressure on the teams around them as they look to secure their place in Division 1 North.
Having enjoyed a weekend off, Wisbech Mens 1st team return to action this Saturday away to King’s Lynn-based Pelicans HC - who currently sit second in the men’s Division 1 North table.
Charlie Baxter’s side are also looking to retain their place in the division, and currently sit seventh in the league on 23 points - but have games against league leaders Spalding and second placed Harleston coming up.
The Men's 3rd XI picked up a vital win in their own battle for survival, beating Kettering 7-2 in Division 4 North West. Team captain Brodie Ellis put Wisbech ahead after 10 minutes, but Kettering were quick to respond and tied the game at 1-1 before Ryan Parker scored for Wisbech to restore the lead heading into the half-time break.
Kettering made a quick start to the second half, putting pressure on Wisbech, and found themselves back on level terms after converting a short corner opportunity.
The game did not remain level for long however, with Ellis scoring his second of the day, before completing his hat-trick moments later when he fired home from a short corner.
Wisbech further extended their lead, with Parker, Tim Bateman, and Ollie Mitchell all scoring before the game was stopped late on following a collision between the Kettering goalkeeper and a Wisbech player. With the opposition stopper unable to continue due to injury, the teams agreed to shake hands and end the game there - with Wisbech earning three valuable points to lift themselves off the foot of the table.
Ellis’ side hosts Peterborough 6th XI this weekend at 12pm.
Captain Brandon Ruff led the way as the Mens 4th team also secured an emphatic victory on home soil, beating secon- placed Ely City 9-2 in Division 6 North West. Ruff scored a hat-trick for Wisbech, while Jon Boyall and player of the game Mat Boyall each bagged a brace, with Oliver Melton and Jordan Bown rounding off the scoring for Wisbech.
The result saw them move ahead of Ely in the league table, but league leaders Spalding are already out of reach having opened up a 13-point gap at the top of the division with just four games left to play. Wisbech host Kettering 5th XI this weekend at 10.30am.
The Ladies 3rd XI suffered defeat on Saturday, going down 7-1 at local rivals March (pictured).
The hosts led 2-1 at half-time, with Oliwia Bolka scoring Wisbech’s lone marker, before pulling away in the second half; but Nicola Greville’s side worked hard, and will be hoping to bounce back when they next take to the field against St. Ives in two weeks time.
Both the Mens and Ladies 2nd XI are back in action this week, with the men away at Cambridge City 5th XI and the ladies visiting Spalding.