East Cambs Hockey
HOCKEY Rutland 1 Ely City 1st XI 3 ELY City gave further notice of their growing maturity with another gutsy win against a skilful but ill-disciplined Rutland side in gloomy and slippery conditions at Stamford on Saturday. Already without last season s pl
Rutland 1 Ely City 1st XI 3
ELY City gave further notice of their growing maturity with another gutsy win against a skilful but ill-disciplined Rutland side in gloomy and slippery conditions at Stamford on Saturday.
Already without last season's player of the season Fez Abbas (who remains on indefinite gardening leave) and experienced 'keeper Tony Tooth, Ely suffered another late setback when in-form left back Charlie Kisby was forced to withdraw from the squad.
Rich Kay returned to strengthen a creaking City defence however, Rich Vincett handed a debut to promising youngster Rory Gilmour in goal, and there was a first start at left back for Dan Jolly.
Desperate to put right last year's disappointing defeat at the same venue, Ely produced a devastating first half display full of slick passing and quick movement to lead 3-1 at the break.
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Rutland were unable to cope with the tireless running of Stu Clarke and Grant Gilmour, Julian Palmer bossed the middle of the park, and Tommy Hugo and Chris Purlant turned providers as skipper Vincett - inspired by the travelling support - netted a first half hat-trick.
He rounded off three breath-taking team moves with finishes of the highest class, and although Rutland mustered a scrappy goal in response they lost a player in each half to yellow cards for crude challenges on the Ely skipper.
The hosts improved after the break, but were kept at bay by a resolute rearguard action from the visitors.
"It was our most important result of the season so far," concluded Vincett. "I'm just pleased the side remained solid and determined and were able to ride on the back of three goals of individual brilliance!"
Ely City 3rd XI 2 Market Deeping 3rd XI 3
ELY knew they were in for a hard game against Deeping following a 3-2 pre-season friendly win against the same opponents.
The visitors benefited from the demise of Peterborough Exiles at the end of last season and gained a number of experienced players, so it was a stern test for Ely's mixture of young and old.
Ely were slow to start and allowed Deeping to dominate the first half of the match.
The visitors scored from a short corner, and with Mark Upton and Robert Ratcliffe struggling to control the midfield Deeping always seemed to have an extra man.
City then conceded another short corner, and despite Will Yardy getting a touch to the shot it was deflected into the net.
After 30 minutes the inevitable happened with the visitors finishing off a move down the Ely left, and the match looked beyond recall at that stage.
The interval couldn't come soon enough for Ely, but they rallied after the break and within a few minutes won their first short corner.
Upton pulled out to Chris Roberts, and his bullet-like shot went through the 'keeper's legs and thudded into the back board to make it 3-1.
Ely introduced Jack Upton to the right side of midfield, and this prompted more flowing moves between Marley, Upton senior, Upton junior, Dan Warby and Roberts.
Warby eventually produced a shot which the 'keeper parried, but Roberts followed up with a flicked effort that reduced the deficit to a single goal.
Deeping were starting to panic, but managed to hold on for a 3-2 win.