Magpies looking to steal the points at the Fortress!
It’s probably the most crucial game of the season for the Men’s 1st XI on Saturday, as they host Prem A leaders, Harleston Magpies in the 1pm pushback.
After the crushing victory at Ramgarhia, winning 11-nil even in a game forced to be stopped ten minutes early, the Men’s 1st XI are in top form. They have now gone ten games unbeaten, and that’s promotion winning form without a doubt, but City’s poor start means that Saturday’s visitors are still eight points ahead and big favourites for the title.
After missing a few players last weekend, City have almost a full strength squad back. Up front, international jetsetter Chris Porter plays one of his last games before heading back to continue his hockey in Australia, and Chris with fellow forwards James “Gunners” Gunthorp (left) and Tom “Pinder” Pinder are all certainly right back in the goals again after sharing seven at Ramgarhia. Cam Heald is also back after two weeks out at National School and Club Indoor Finals, and Jonny Appleton is back from his suspension.
Ultimately, City still believe that they can be in the hunt come the end of the season. Another win for them at the Fortress that is Bretton Gate, will definitely mean that the Magpies will have to look out behind as City look to steal the title away from the top two.
The rejuvenated Men’s 2nd team were very unlucky last time out to lose late on to Cambridge City 2nds, the outstanding team in Prem B this year.
With a short trip to Long Sutton, Andy Cave will be looking for revenge for the embarrassing 6-1 reverse in the first half of the season. Also with the 3rd team close up behind them, they know it is important to keep winning, if they are to meet their own target to finish above the 3rds.
The Men’s 3rd team have a home game against Crostyx, pushing back at 2.30pm. The visitors are fighting to survive in the division, but the 3rds will want to do the double and send the Essex boys back home winless again.
The Men’s 4th team under man-mountain Neil “Lakey” Lake, are in the middle of the three most important weeks of their season in Division 3NW. They travel to old rivals March Town on Saturday, the new leaders of the league, after City’s draw last week.
With the only team to beat them (Cambridge City 4ths) coming to the Gate next week, and still with a comfortable cushion over the chasing teams for the promotion, two wins in the next two weeks would be a big step towards Division 2 hockey next season.
Onto the Ladies side, the Ladies 1st XI will just be looking to forget last weekend’s result. To be honest, they have a perfect game to do that, with a trip to Wisbech. Everyone knows what you get when you go there, but City’s ladies are a strong bunch and will look to match them with. With Lawrie having all week to brood over the right words to use in his legendary team talks, expect something special this week!
At the Thomas Deacon Academy, the Ladies 2nds have an important game too in their quest to survive in Division 2NW. They play fiery local rivals, the Bourne Deeping Dragons, but Emma Faux’s team will look to extinguish any hopes of the Lincolnshire team overhauling the 2nds.
Finally, a mention for the club’s under 18 boys’ team. They have a last 16 match in the England Hockey Knockout Cup on Sunday. The visitors are Gerrards Cross, and with both teams just two wins from a National Finals weekend, this is sure to be a cracking encounter.
The pushback is 1pm, the bar is open from about 12pm, so hopefully there will be a big crowd to support and cheer them on.
The remaining fixtures are:
- Mens Veterans XI v The Mighty Leadenham 1sts (Bretton Gate – 10am)
- Men’s 7th XI v Horncastle 1sts (Bretton Gate – 11.30am)
- Men’s 5th XI v Ely City 2nds (Thomas Deacon Academy – 11.30am)
- Ladies 3rd XI v Boston 1sts (Bretton Gate – 4pm)
- Men’s 6th XI v Louth 1sts (away)
- Men’s 8th XI v Spalding 3rds (away)
- Men’s 9th XI v Spalding 5ths (away)
- Ladies 4th XI v Leadenham 1st(away)