Big day at home for the top Men’s sides
There is a bumper crop of big games for the Men at Fortress Bretton Gate on Saturday, with four of our top six at home.
For the Men’s 1st XI, last weekend was such a massive disappointment for the team who really played poorly at Dereham. After so many weeks of good and often great results, the squad will be hurting in that they went down to a team that didn’t play well, but all the lads were just second best.
The loss looks to have only left City with an outside chance of promotion, but if they can slip up, there is always the chance that West Herts and Harleston do the same.
With only six games to go though, it is unlikely, so the squad will perhaps start to look to next season where they now know the levels that they need to reach, and most importantly reach consistently. This season they have won well on many occasions, but perhaps not won while playing badly which would have made the difference.
This week, they host Chelmsford, a dangerous team who have had mixed results all season. Their home form has been as good as any in the league, but they do not travel as well and coming to the Fortress, with City sore from losing last week, they are likely to feel the backlash.
The game is a 1pm pushback.
Also at home, City’s Men’s 2nds host Letchworth in the 2.30pm pushback. It’s rare that both of the Men’s top teams play at home together, so hopefully they should get a good crowd in support too.
Letchworth are one place above the “twos”, but City are chasing them down (and trying to keep ahead of the thirds too). There are a few unavailability for the 2nd team this week, Sanjay Dhanani (pictured left) is out with a broken bone in his hand and Paul Hillsdon suspended (also left), but don’t back against the 2nd team to get that result and push towards 4th place in the league – an extremely good achievement bearing in mind their slow start.
Also at home this Saturday, is the promotion chasing 4th team. According to their captain Neil Lake, they believe they now have a comfortable run in, and the eight point gap to their nearest promotion rivals should be enough to make sure they are guaranteed Division 2 hockey again next season.
But points have to be won on the pitch, so this will need to continue with a win in the 11.30am pushback against strugglers Wisbech Town 3rds.
The opening game of the day, which has four of the top men’s teams playing at home, is the 10am pushback with the Glorious Sixes hosting Bourne Deeping 3rds.
Having rattled in 14 (fourteen) goals last Saturday, the 6ths will want to continue that form against their fierce local rivals. Many of the players in the Sixes have had battles over the last decades with Bourne and Deeping, so getting to play them both together in one game is their ideal. Especially, as it will all be done and dusted and they will be in the bar drinking Guinness at 11.30am!
Finally, a mention for the Ladies 1st team, who have not won for three weeks now, but have had a very tough run of fixtures, playing all the top teams in Division 1N.
They have just slipped into the relegation places, but confidence from the head coach, manager, captain, players and the rest of the club is extremely high in that they will not just get out of the bottom four, but will finish top half. The young squad, with eight players aged 18 or below will also just continue to get better which is superb for the future of our Ladies section.
The Ladies 1st XI go away to old rivals Cambridge City 2nds. Expect them back with all the points!
The remaining fixtures are:
- 10am – Ladies 3rd XI v Spalding 2nds (Thomas Deacon Academy)
- 11am – Men’s 5th XI v Cambridge City 4ths (away at Perse Boys School)
- 11:30am – Mens Veterans XI v Cambridge City Vets (Thomas Deacon Academy)
- 2pm – Men’s 7th XI v Alford & District 1sts (away at Skegness Grammar School)
- 2:30pm – Men’s 8th XI v Long Sutton 3 (away at Peele School)
- 2:30pm – Men’s 9th XI v Boston 1sts (away at Gleed Boys School, Spalding)
- 3:30pm Men’s 3rd XI v Ipswich 1sts (away at Ipswich Sports Club)
- 4pm – Ladies 2nd XI v St Neots 1sts (Bretton Gate)