|Date||12 November 2016|
|Team||Mens 1st XI|
|Venue||Horncastle Hockey Club - Astroturf Pitch|
|Result||W 5 - 2|
|Time played||Normal time|
|Scorers||Nick Bennett (2), Robert Scott (2), Member not found (1)|
Horncastle took on Leadenham this weekend looking to defend their perfect start to their league campaign with a 9th successive win. Leadenham's league form had been good in recent weeks and they started the better of the 2 sides putting Horncastle's defence under sustained pressure for the opening 10 minutes; however, the back four of Fixter, Partridge, J. Cartwright and A. Cartwright were able to stand firm. Horncastle gradually worked their way into the game and won a penalty stroke after Scott was brought down in the D whilst controlling an excellent first time pass from Foster. The stroke was converted calmly by Bennett to give the home side a slender lead but Leadenham responded quickly, scoring straight after the restart to make it 1-1. With their noses now bloody, Horncastle piled forward and retook the lead with Bradley sweeping home a fine reverse stick finish. However the away side soon levelled the game once more, although this time they were assisted by Horncastle captain Scott who put the ball into his own net following a Leadenham short corner. This was not the end of the scoring in an extremely unpredictable first half with Bennett converting a short corner with a drag flick into the top corner to give Horncastle a 3-2 advantage going into the break.
Horncastle looked to try and manage the game better in the second half and started brightly causing Leadenham's backline to become increasingly stretched. This improved start was rewarded when the ball was worked quickly into the D by the Horncastle frontline and Foster squared the ball across the face of goal to give Scott a simple tap-in. Leadenham continued to pose a threat on the break and Horncastle's 2 goal advantage was kept intact by keeper Murrell making a timely sliding save to deny opposition a foothold in the game. Horncastle did finally make the 3 points safe when Scott grabbed another goal, flicking home a reverse finish after a scramble in the area. This brought an end to an extremely entertaining game and leaves Horncastle's perfect start to the season intact. Final score Horncastle 5-2 Leadenham.
MOM - Partridge was unanimously voted man of the match following a fine performance at left back, providing a much needed calmness on the ball in a hectic match.
Special mention to Nick Bennet who returned to the team this week after a successful trip to Malaysia where he umpired in the FIH Sultan of Johor Cup. The tournament involved some of the worlds best U21 international players and Nick umpired 4 matches before being selected to officiate in the final which involved Australia and Pakistan with Australia running out 3-1 winners. Congratulations Nick, from everyone at Horncastle Hockey Club on an excellent tournament!