Hockey round-up: Ely mens’ unbeaten run halted as Ely Ladies’ 2nds hit Cambridge City for six

Action from Ely Ladies 2nds 6-1 win over Cambridge City 5ths.

Action from Ely Ladies 2nds 6-1 win over Cambridge City 5ths. - Credit: Archant

It seems that Ely City’s bubble may just have burst. Heading into 2016, the men’s first team were cruising – unbeaten all season and flying at the top of Division Three North-West of the Cambs Hockey League.

Fast forward to the first weekend of February, and things are looking less promising. Ely dropped points last week, causing them to fall into second, and things went from bad to worse at the weekend when their season-long unbeaten run came to a shuddering halt against Bourne Deeping 2nds.

With Ely having dominated the first half of the season, Bourne Deeping had thought about the playing style and come up with a plan to overcome the pressing game and ball possession. Similar to last week, it was a case of them parking the bus and hitting on the break, which, unfortunately for Ely, proved effective once again.

Ely started slow and allowed Bourne Deeping to compete in the centre of the park. The forward line of Abbas, Kisby and Brown made constant runs, but the only way through was a long pass which either flew out of play or got cut out.

The midfield of Wells, Dennis and Tavernor battled hard but had little time and space on the ball as they were constantly swamped by a packed midfield. ‘Keeper Doddsworth was called into play a few times early on but was up to the challenge. A route one play from Bourne Deeping saw the opposition claim the opening goal and take a 1-0 half time lead.

A frustrated Ely side came out strong in the second half. The team became more fluid as the defensive line begain to move the ball around and create openings for the midfield to drive into and force the game deeper into the opposition half. Numerous short corners were created but Ely were unable to capitalise on the opportunities.

Finally, the pressure paid off with a ball fired into the D at the keeper. Some pinball followed, before Dennis got the final touch to bring the game level.

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The pressure continued with several near misses and numerous more short corners. Then, against the run of play, another Bourne Deeping long ball saw a right wing breakaway and a sharp cross result in an unstoppable goal past Doddsworth.

The Ely pressure continued in what became an open game, with the visitors raining shots in on goal, with efforts from Wells, Tavernor, Kisby and Brown.

Brown and Dennis both missed diving chances to deflect efforts goalwards in a relentless attempt to get even and in the dying moments, Reynolds found himself collecting the ball outside the D. A charge into an opening saw him fire a shot only for Brown to try and deflect it past the keeper, but away from the goal, and Ely’s unbeaten run was finally over.

Ely will look to bounce back next weekend, when they welcome Fen rivals Wisbech Town 2nds.

Ely men’s seconds were also involved in a tight encounter, but edged their Bourne Deeping thirds opponents by one goal.

Their 3-2 victory was only their third of the season, and they will be hoping it will help to propel them up the Division Four North-West table.

The men’s third’s match was also decided by one goal, but unfortunately for Ely it went to the visitors, St Neots fifths.

Ely’s 1-0 defeat leaves them rock bottom Division Six North-West, with the strugglers having won only one game this season.

There was an eight-goal thriller in Ely Ladies’ first’s match with Bourne Deeping fourths - but neither could find a winner as the game finished 4-4.

Ely’s second draw of the season leaves them in fifth in Division Three North-West,

The ladies’ second team secured the result of the weekend for the club - hammering Cambridge City fifths 6-1.

The seconds’ excellent performance fired them to eighth in Division Four North-West, five places above struggling Ely thirds, who suffered their heaviest defeat of the season.

The thirds’ rather embarrassing 18-0 defeat at the hands of table-toppers Cambridge City fourths leaves them second from the bottom, still without a goal this season and with a humiliating goal difference of minus 95.