A four-goal haul from star goal-getter Stu Cunnington fired Spalding 1st to an 8-3 victory at Wisbech Town on Saturday – and kept his side top of East Men’s Hockey League’s Premier B division.
Cunnington grabbed half of the goals Spalding in a game that pitted top against bottom, while Glenn Richardson (2) and Rob Dalton were also among the scorers.
The five-goal cushion was a welcome one for the leaders, who only top CoP 2nd on goal difference.
In Division One, Long Sutton 1st were handed a crushing 6-2 home beating by Bourne Deeping 1st and slip to fifth place.
Clinical finishes from Ben Shore and Dan Batten were scant consolation for Sutton.
Down in Division 3NW, Spalding 2nd picked up a morale-boosting 1-1 draw against in-form Cambridge City Vets. A cool James Stone finish gave Spalding the lead, but Cambs converted a late short corner to earn a share of the spoils.
Meanwhile, a dominant display from Long Sutton 2nd saw them thrash rock-bottom Wisbech 2nd 5-1 to bag their second success of the 3NW season.
Gary Hales cracked a hat-trick for Sutton, while Luke Jackson and Josh Baker also got in on the act.
In the same division, Spalding 3rd earned an encouraging 2-2 draw at Bourne/Deeping 2nd.
Tom Shinkins and Ryan Davy both notched to put Spalding 2-0 up and on the brink of a second league triumph of the season.
However, the hosts pulled one back before the break and duly levelled in the second period to ensure the spoils were shared.
Spalding 4th, meanwhile, march on in Division 6NW (N).
James Mayhew (2) Shaun Dewing (2), Lawrence Smith-Hughes, Max Bland, Kieren Scholes and Ben Scholes all scored as they walloped Wisbech 4th 8-1 to stay three points clear at the top.
There was a derby between Long Sutton 4th and Spalding 5th, with the latter running out 4-1 winners.
James Reston (2) and Alex Cunnington (2) fired Spalding to their third win on the spin.
The other South Holland side in 6NW (N), Long Sutton 3rd, slipped to a 3-2 defeat against lowly Louth 2nd.
Will Taylor and Ian White got the Sutton goals.
- Eva Keyes helped herself to five goals as Spalding Poachers 2nd hammered Wisbech ladies’ 3rd 13-0 in East Women’s Hockey League Division 3NW.
Ellie Holland, Lucy Simpson (2), Ellie Pybus, Lauren Pitts, Samantha Foston (2) and Zoe Moore also notched for Spalding, who tried out a new formation to devastating effect.
Up in Division 2NW, Spalding Poachers 1st slipped to a 3-2 defeat against Alford 1st – who leapfrog them at the top as a result.
Long Sutton ladies’ 1st were unable to overtake Spalding as they could only draw 2-2 against rock-bottom Cambs Uni 3rd.
Lyn Tancred and Connie Gittins scored for Sutton, who are now in third place.
Down in Division 4NW (N), Spalding Poachers 3rd lost top spot as they went down 2-0 against formidable title rivals Leadenham ladies’ 1st.
Lauren Spenceley was player of the match for them.
There was better news for Long Sutton ladies’ 2nd, though, as they earned a 3-2 home success over CoP 4th to gain their fourth triumph of the season.