After losing their first 11 games of the East Men’s Hockey League Division 2N season, Long Sutton 1st returned from the winter break revitalised on Saturday.
The basement boys picked up a thrilling 3-2 victory over Horncastle 1st, with Josh Baker the hero with a heroic hat-trick on the day.
Sutton had to survive a Horncastle comeback after seeing their 2-0 lead pegged back to 2-2, but Baker – who suffered with cramp during the game – crashed home a winner to finally get their season up and running.
Spalding 1st had a tough start to the year in Premier B, as they suffered a 6-1 reverse at Broxbourne 1st.
Robin Edlington’s debut goal did have them on level terms at one point, but Spalding – who were rusty after the festive break – were punished after Matthew Peach was sent off.
There was better news for Spalding 3rd in Division 4NW as they picked up a welcome 2-1 victory at Alford 1st thanks to goals from Chris Grooby and Martin Perkins.
There was also a 2-1 win for Long Sutton 2nd in the Division 3NW.
They defeated St Neots 1st at home to move into fourth place, with the goals coming from Josh Fyson and Jeremy Watt.
The big win of the day came from Spalding 4th in Division 5NW, as they thrashed Ely City 2nd 7-0 at Glen Park.
The star of the show was Matt Hicks, who helped himself to five of the goals.
Dave Burrell and Andy Barlow rounded off the rout for the mighty maroons.
- Saturday fixtures: East Men’s Hockey League: Premier B – Blueharts 1st v Spalding 1st (3pm). Division 2N – Long Sutton 1st v Harleston Magpies 3rd (2.30pm). Division 3NW – Spalding 2nd v Long Sutton 2nd (2pm). Division 4NW – St Ives 3rd v Spalding 3rd (2pm). Division 5NW – Bourne Deeping 4th v Spalding 4th (11am). Division 6NW (N) – Long Sutton 3rd v City of Peterborough 8th (11.30am); Spalding 5th v Horncastle 2nd (12.30pm).