HOCKEY: Kettering teams enjoy their final outings before an enforced break

Hockey has been halted across the country due to the new national lockdown

Thursday, 5th November 2020, 8:53 am
Updated Thursday, 5th November 2020, 8:54 am
Kettering's final game before the lockdown saw them claim a 5-2 win at City of Peterborough 3rd. Pictures by David Lowndes

Hockey clubs across the area have played their last matches for at least a month.

Following the announcement at the weekend that a new national lockdown would be starting today (Thursday), England Hockey confirmed that club and community forms of the sport would be suspended until December 4 at the earliest.

Kettering men’s first team signed off by maintaining their unbeaten record in Division 2N of the East Men’s League with a 5-2 victory at City of Peterborough 3rd.

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Action from the clash between Kettering and City of Peterborough 3rd

Lewis Pywell and James Hogg were on target before the break and it was 3-0 in the second half when Pywell converted a penalty stroke.

The hosts pulled goals back either side of Pywell completing his hat-trick and it was Mikey Crane who had the final say when he grabbed Kettering’s fifth.

Kettering 2nd had a tough day as they were beaten 7-2 at home by high-flying Long Sutton in Division 3NW.

The scoreline didn’t reflect the performance for Kettering who had Finn Smith and Josh Cox on target with late consolations.

When their season resumes, three of Kettering’s next four matches will be crucial clashes against teams also in the bottom half of the table.

Elsewhere, the thirds were awarded a 5-0 win in Division 5NW after March Town 2nd conceded the game and Kettering 4th enjoyed a terrific 1-0 victory over St Neots 3rd while the fifths went down 2-0 to St Ives 5th.

Kettering under-18s suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Loughborough Town, which means they now drop into Tier 3 of the National Cup competition.

Kettering started the stronger and despite having James Hogg green carded after five minutes, they went on to dominate the early exchanges.

Finn Smith saw an effort saved by the impressive home goalkeeper while Wallace Cairns, Hogg, Tom Storey and Harry Tanser all went close.

The hosts, however, opened the scoring with virtually their first chance when a short corner was deflected in.

Adam Mills then saw green but it was the visitors who equalised when Harry Tanser scored from a rebound short corner.

Four minutes into the second half, Loughborough took the lead again from another corner.

Cairns had a couple of good chances but it was Tanser who equalised again before Cairns gave the visitors the lead.

But it was short lived as Loughborough levelled almost immediately and neither side was able to find a winner in the final 10 minutes.

That meant the match would be decided by penalty strokes.

Loughborough's captain managed to miss their first attempt and Kettering were handed the initiative.

Tanser and Storey scored as did the next two home players but Hogg missed for Kettering.

The next Loughborough player scored, as did Josh Cox, 3-3 and when Loughborough missed again, it was followed by an effort from Mills that went wide.

That meant sudden death and Tanser made it 4-4 after Loughborough had scored.

The hosts scored again but Storey then saw his flick saved as the hosts went through.

Kettering’s last game before the month-long lockdown saw them suffered a 2-1 home defeat to high-flying Belper 2nd in the Feeder East division of the Midland Women’s League.

Kettering found themselves 2-0 down in the second half after both goals had been conceded from short corners.

However, Kettering have shown they can score from short corners as well and they did again when Charlie James’ strike proved too powerful for the defender on the post who could only deflect it in.

However, despite their best efforts Kettering were unable to find an equaliser.

Kettering 2nd hosted Saints 2nd in Division One of the Northants Ladies League but were on the end of a 3-1 defeat.

Sienna McNeill’s deflected shot saw Kettering pull the game back to 2-1 but Saints added a third to complete their win.

In the same division, Kettering 3rd also lost 3-1 as they were beaten at Wellingborough.

The fourths had a better day as they played another Saints team and won 3-1 thanks to goals from Pam Farr (2) and Maddie King.

The young Kettering 5th team travelled to take on Wootton 3rd and were edged out 2-1 with Immi Mitchell scoring the Kettering goal after good work from Charlotte Bennett and Emily Barker.