City teams with much to prove against their club colleagues
The East League Fixture computer has thrown up a great set of fixtures for Bretton Gate this Saturday, with six of the top seven men’s teams with inter-club grudge matches.
The Men’s 1st XI though are in theory the highlight of the day with their 1pm pushback, hosting Cambridge University, the team one place above them in the League. A win for City means they finish the first half of the season in 3rd place. More importantly, it will keep up pressure on the top two, West Herts and Harleston Magpies who have to come to Fortress Bretton Gate early in the New Year.
After their superb performance and win last weekend at Wisbech, the confidence could not be higher in the team. For most of the game, it was a scintillating display of attacking hockey and if repeated on Saturday, would royally entertain what will hopefully be a massive crowd at the Gate.
In terms of team news, unfortunately fan’s favourite Tom Hagues is still unlikely to be fit, but Captain Ross Booth will hope to be fit again to play, especially as vice-captain Jonny Appleton has gathered too many yellow cards and will only be able to watch from the sideline this week.
The most intriguing fixture of all the inter-club games has to be the Men’s 2nd team against the Men’s 3rds. The pushback is at 2.30pm, directly following the first XI game.
Captain of the 3rds, Shayne Andrews has made no secret of his delight as his team have been ahead of the 2nd team for the whole season. The 2nd team, led by Andy Cave, have been working hard with often less players available to select from. After a poor start, they have now put a reasonable run of results together too.
Originally, there had been an intention to use the third team as a “development team” for the 1st XI, but in practice though, both teams have had their fair share of juniors in the squads getting good experience of playing a high standard of Men’s Hockey.
The differences between the two teams are therefore small, so we can fully expect a close match. Without doubt there are players on both sides who have a lot to prove, especially in front of so many watching from the rest of the club. This all adds to what is sure to be an encounter that should not be missed!
Another (perhaps) more friendly rivalry, due to the somewhat reduced intensity of the lower leagues, is the opening match of the day when the Glorious Sixes renew their rivalry with the Magnificent Sevens.
Both teams have maintained a core squad and ethos over the last few seasons. The experience of the 6th team though has been supplemented with some younger legs and they have been up the top of this division since the start. The 7th team have kept their blend of lots of youth with the usual older heads, but in recent weeks they have actually overhauled the Sixes and now sit one point and two places ahead of them in Division 4NW.
So, this one is pretty straightforward, a win for the Sixes puts them back up above the Sevens. This is clearly important for them to show their superiority at the half way point in the season, so for those that can get down to the club for the 10am pushback, it’s sure to be a cracker.
The final game of the day at Bretton Gate is the Men’s 4th team playing the Men’s 5th team. They end the day at 4pm.
Lakey’s 4th team have been long time leaders of Division 3NW and seemingly the best bet for promotion of all the City of Peterborough teams. Nearly all his squad have played at higher levels in the last few seasons so this is no surprise, but they will not want to slip up against Iain Green’s 5th team.
The 5th team, to a degree are a team in a transitional year, with lots of players new to this level too but hopefully on their way up. They have had some mixed results but are safely placed in mid-table, which is an improvement on last season where they struggled most of the year.
With the dominance of the 4th team over other teams in the division, we would expect the 4th team to run out comfortable winners, but their club colleagues in the 5ths will give everything to make that a difficult game for them.
The remaining games on Saturday are:
- Mens Veterans v Bourne Deeping 4ths at the Thomas Deacon Academy (10am)
- Ladies 4ths away at Spalding 3rds (11am)
- Ladies 2nds v Royston 1sts at Bretton Gate (11.30am)
- Ladies 3rds v Horncastle 1sts at the Thomas Deacon Academy (11.30am)
- Men’s 8ths away at Leadenham 1sts (1pm)
- Ladies 1sts away at Lowestoft Ladies 1sts (1pm)
- Men’s 9ths away at Bourne Deeping 5ths (3:30pm)