Men’s 1st XI still in the hunt for promotion
The Men’s 1st XI had all but given up on their ambitions to challenge for the East Premier A title some time ago. Perseverance though has paid off, and a good run of results for City, and a few minor slips for the top two, have meant that a win on Saturday puts them right back in the hunt for promotion.
With visitors on Saturday at 1pm, West Herts, the long term front runners, only now being 5 points ahead of City, a home win would reduce the gap to just 2 points and increase the pressure further for the Watford boys. Also, with Harleston Magpies having to come to Fortress Bretton Gate in a few weeks time, this really is the crunch period of the season for City.
The firsts will pretty much have a full strength squad, bolstered by the return of the wanderer – Chris Porter (left), who rejoins from full seasons playing for Barcelona HC in the Spanish League and for Altona HC in State League Hockey in Australia. Fellow forward and fan’s favourite James “Gunners” Gunthorp has also found the scoring touch at last and will want to add to his goal tally for the season in front of the expected large home crowd. As if all this good news wasn’t a big enough boost, City had more positive signs from the treatment room, as Tom Hagues will soon be fit too, some months before was expected.
Into Prem B, the healthy competition between the Men’s 2nds and 3rds continues, but for the first time this season it looks likely that the second team may end the day ahead of the 3rds. The 2nds are the ”in form” team at the moment, with livewire Danny Needham scoring for fun (pictured right). They travel to bottom team Bishops Stortford, a team they comprehensively best at Bretton Gate in the first fixture. They will expect three points and a healthy addition to their goals for column too.
In contrast, the Men’s 3rds have been faltering somewhat, and are only just above the 2nd team. They host Cambridge University 2nds in the 11.30am game at Bretton Gate, but will have to turn in an improved performance to win and stay above City 2nds.
Having said that though, their teammates chasing them might just be the motivation needed to pull out another good result.
Top of the table sits Neil Lake’s Men’s 4th team. They have to travel to St Ives 2nds, but will expect all three points and to stay ahead of their nearest rivals – Cambridge South and March, who they play in the next few weeks too.
The Ladies 1st XI go away to Norfolk again to play to lowly Norwich City. They have struggled slightly on the long trips recently, but will hope to hit form again and consolidate their mid-table position.
The remaining fixtures are:
- Men’s 7th XI v St Ives 3rds (Thomas Deacon Academy, 10am)
- Ladies 3rd XI v Long Sutton 2nds (home, 10am)
- Men’s 8th XI v Cambridge City Vets (Thomas Deacon Academy, 11.30am)
- Men’s 5th XI v St Neots (home, 2.30pm)
- Men’s 9th XI v Alford & District 2nds (home, 4pm)
- Men’s 6th XI v St Neots 2nds (away)
- Mens Veterans XI v Wisbech Town 4ths (away)
Best wishes also go to the nine club players representing their school, the Thomas Deacon Academy, at the Under 18 National Indoor Finals, being held over two days this weekend at Whitgift School in Croydon.