A BRACE from James Pratt helped Ludlow Hockey Club to cement third spot in West Midlands Men’s League Division One with a 3-1 win over Stafford in their penultimate match.
Captain Vijay Chumber was pleased with his side’s display and was happy to confirm their third spot.
Ludlow host Tamworth at Much Wenlock this Saturday in the final game of the league.
Chumber said: “Now we have secured 3rd we can go into this weekend’s game and have some fun knowing the pressure is off us.”
Ludlow fell behind but stepped up a gear with Lyam Hutchinson, who normally plays a defensive role, having a spell up front.
Hutchinson levelled the match with a well-taken first maiden league goal.
Andrew Richards went close on a number of occasions meaning the Stafford defence kept a close eye on him.
This left space for Pratt who made the most of it, striking the ball into the back of the net during a Ludlow penalty corner.
It wasn’t until the closing stages of the game when Pratt dribbled from the half way line, rounding the top of the circle and hitting the ball home.
Joe Haywood scored six goals in Ludlow 2nd’s 12-2 home win over Atherstone Adders in a one-sided affair.
Tyler Davis and Jake Watts bagged braces for Ludlow, while Kevin Williams and goalkeeper Henry Downes were also on target.
Ludlow went ahead in the third minute with Williams’ short-corner strike and, within five minutes, the hosts were a further two goals ahead thanks to Haywood.
Davis popped a shot over the line and Watts weaved the ball through the visitors to slot it past the keeper on the near post. Haywood completed his hat-trick before the break to open a 6-0 interval lead.
Downes in goal was called upon to make a few saves and clearances but topped his performance by scoring from the penalty spot to earn Ludlow double figures. Davis took his chance on the 65th minute to make his brace and another excellent through ball allowed Haywood to crown his day with a double hat-trick.
Meanwhile, third-placed Tenbury Ladies recorded a 4-2 success over Bromsgrove 2nd in a top-of-the-table clash in the Worcestershire Women’s League Division One.
Rachel Croxton-Broome, Cut Mumford, Lindsey Aldridge and Abi Davies were all on target.
“Tenbury were confident, there was excellent communication between players and a great all round attitude,” said Tenbury spokesman Tina Bickley.
“It was an emphatic display from Tenbury who just keep going from strength to strength.”
Tenbury were the first to score, from a well executed corner.
Aldridge injected to Davies who passed back to Aldridge to get low and sweep passed the Bromsgrove defence and keeper a great and well deserved start for the hosts.
Tenbury added a second goal soon after when Croxton-Broome carried the ball forward and finding in-form Mumford who smashed the ball passed the keeper.
Bromsgrove cut the deficit from a penalty flick midway but Tenbury hit back and scored again from a penalty corner, cleverly pushed home by Croxton-Broome.
Tenbury’s defence were superb throughout, frustrating the away team.
Davies notched Tenbury’s fourth goal from a penalty corner.
Bromsgrove rounded off the scoring late in the second half from another penalty flick.