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Mens 3rd XI - Match centre

Kettering 4
Kettering 3
Sat 24 Feb 13:00 - East Men's Hockey League - Division 6NW (S) Full time

Mens 3rd XI ease past club rivals

Composed performance sees off challenge of the Mens 4th XI

The positive thinking tactic from the Mens 4th XI couldn't help them fend off the energetic, youthful vigour displayed by the 3rd XI in the opening minutes of this intra-club league match.
Wallace Cairns and Dan Carter gave their clubmates no time to settle on the ball and consequently set up chances for their colleagues. Skipper Neil Manley burst into the circle but his shot went wide and didn't trouble Brendan Read in the 4th team goal. The 3rds kept up the pressure and got the goal their play deserved. An attack down the right wing resulted in Geoff Elliott having a shot which was saved but Adam Mills was alert and reacted quickly to seize upon the rebound and tuck the ball away.
After 15 minutes, the 4ths managed to force a short corner. A strike from the evergreen Tony Heath found the large gap left at the right hand post. Despite there being a suspicion that the ball was struck from outside the circle, the equalising goal was awarded.
The 3rds were not daunted by this minor setback and continued to press forward in search of another goal. Josh Cox put in an excellent cross from the right and a clever dummy from Cairns set up Mills for a shot. Once again, sharp reactions were key for the 3rds when Carter was on hand to finish off from close range.
The 3rd team kept up the pressure and a great team move culminated in a pull back which found Elliott in space at the top of the circle. Unfortunately for him, his shot was not good enough to evade the busy Read in the 4th team goal. Nick Cusk was next to test the 4th team defence but his short-corner flick flew inches past the top corner of the goal.

Into the second half and the 3rds continued off where they left off. A couple of injuries to the 4ths left them without many attacking options and it was a containment exercise for them.
Nevertheless they defended expertly and Read showed his class on a number of occasions. Adam Mills went close with a powerful reverse stick shot and Manley had a short corner strike saved. From a similar set-piece, Cusk fired in another lofted shot which was heading goalwards until Read stretched out his stick and deflected it over the bar.
Finally, the breakthrough came for the 3rds. The ball was worked into the circle and Geoff Elliott was picked out at the top of the 'D'. His shot would probably have been saved but Wallace Cairns cleverly intercepted it, and dribbled round the keeper to score.
The pressure from the 3rd team continued with Ben Smith showing his attacking prowess by making several surging runs from defence. However, the 4th team held firm and the final score remained 3-1 to the 3rds.

Next week, the 3rds play their final league game of the season when they entertain Ely City 3.

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Other Division 6NW (S) results

St Ives 5
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5
Cambridge South 4
0
4
St Ives 4
Cambridge South 5
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St Neots 5

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Cambridge South 4 18 47
2. Kettering 3 18 40
3. St Ives 4 18 36
4. Cambridge Nomads 3 18 36
5. Ely City 2 18 33
6. Cambridge South 5 18 22
7. St Ives 5 18 19

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