HOCKEY: Kettering celebrate two titles and a promotion
It was a weekend of celebration for Kettering Hockey Club as two teams were crowned champions while another secured promotion and still have a title in their sights.
That team wrapping up promotion was the men’s first team and they did it in style with a 5-1 victory over March Town in Division 3NW of the East Men’s League.
Kettering, who now have secured back-to-back promotions, will now have the chance to clinch the title when they take on Cambridge City Vets under the lights at Kimbolton School next Tuesday night.
March put Kettering under pressure early on and Barry Coe produced an outstanding save to turn the tide in the hosts’ favour.
Grant Carlin opened the scoring after a short corner had been saved but March equalised early in the second half to make it 1-1.
However, Kettering found another gear and Andy Sellers made it 2-1 before Ross Mathieson put the game out of March’s reach and there was time for Lewis Pywell and Pat Cawley to get in on the act before the end.
Kettering 2nd wrapped up the Division 5NW title with a 3-3 draw at St Ives 3rd.
In the end, with Wellingborough losing at Spalding, Kettering’s result didn’t matter as only a minor miracle would have prevented them from winning it due to their superior goal difference.
But they won the league outright thanks to their point in their final game of the season.
They did it the hard way, however, as they trailed St Ives 3-0 early in the second half.
But Kettering staged a superb late fightback with Ben York giving them the lifeline before George York made it 3-2. And then, with just 20 seconds remaining, Sam Deprisco slotted home the equaliser to spark wild celebrations.
A true ‘Super Saturday’ for the club was completed by the ladies second team as they claimed the Northants League Division One title after a 2-1 victory over Earls Barton.
They opened the scoring when Shez Coe released Felicity Goodliffe down the left and she pulled the ball back for top scorer Kirsty Smith to slot home.
The second goal arrived after the break when Goodliffe fired home after a short corner breakdown.
Barton pulled one back almost immediately but Kettering produced a solid defensive display to see the game out and wrap up their first Division One title for a number of years.