Players fly in to boost the Men’s 1st team
After eight home games last weekend, and fourteen teams playing league fixtures, we’re back to something a little easier to cope with at the Gate this Saturday, with just the five games at home. It does mean however that eight team have road trips of various lengths.
The most important of these away games is the Men’s 1st XI’s trip to Harleston Magpies. Traditionally, the Magpies are always up the top of Prem A and were in the National League only a few seasons ago, so this will be one of the most difficult games of the season. With Harleston on 9 points, and City on 6 points, not losing this game is crucial, but Gareth Andrew will want his team to bring back all the points.
The team is boosted by being able to name two new players in the travelling squad. Last season’s 1st team player of the year and fan’s favourite, Johnny Appleton, returns from an extended trip playing hockey in Australia and is straight into the team, as is experienced Australian Brett Churchill (left) who joins the club.
Back at home, many of the fixtures at Bretton Gate this week are local derbies. This always adds a little to the excitement and the biggest of these is the Ladies 1st team entertaining Wisbech in the 1pm game. They will hope to bounce back from the bad defeat away at Norwich Dragons last week, but they have another away trip too on the Sunday to Lincoln in the 1st round of the Women’s Trophy.
The biggest men’s game at the Gate is the Men’s 2nd team game v Long Sutton. Although Long Sutton gave the 1st team a close game in the Cup, Andy Cave will expect his team to take three points at home again and push up the table further.
Neil Lake’s 4th team lost their 100% record at Cambridge South last Saturday, but in the 10am game, they play another local team March 1sts, who are level on points with the 4ths.
The Men’s Vets host Wisbech 4s at 11.30am in their second game of the season. It looks like Division 5NW will be tough for the Vets and the 8ths, but both teams will enjoy the higher standard of hockey this year.
The final game at home is the top of the table Glorious Sixes who host second placed Louth. The 6th team have been free scoring this season, comfortably winning their first three league games, but Louth have too, so this game is likely to provide some good entertainment for all those players returning from their games elsewhere.
On the road, the Men’s 3rd team will want to get back to winning ways at Crostyx, who have struggled this season. The thirds only defeat so far was last week’s 5-3 loss to a very strong Felixstowe side, but if the young team keep playing the way they are, they should bring back 3 points from Essex.
The remaining away trips are:
- Ladies 2nd XI v Bourne Deeping 1, at Arthur Mellows Village College, Glinton
- Men’s 8th XI v Cambridge City Vets, at the Leys School, Cambridge
- Men’s 7th XI v Horncastle 1
- Men’s 9th XI v Alford & District 2, at Skegness Grammar School
- Men’s 5th XI v Ely City 2
- Ladies 3rd XI Vs Long Sutton 2, at Peele School, Long Sutton.