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First victory for Haverhill hockey team in the revamped East League

Haverhill Hockey Club have won their first match of the season, a narrow 2-1 win away to Saffron Walden II in Division 3S of the East Women’s League.

Chair Tina Bunch hailed the result as ‘by far our best performance of the season’ as the first team climbed off the bottom of the league standings into 10th place (of 11) for the first time.

The result, which came courtesy of a Vicky Steed double, saw them leapfrog fellow league struggler in Walden’s second string, who now remain the only team in the division not to have won.

HOCKEY - Haverhill Ladies II v Cambridge City VI..Pictured: Tina Bunch...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (20911119)
HOCKEY - Haverhill Ladies II v Cambridge City VI..Pictured: Tina Bunch...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (20911119)

Bunch said: “It’s nice to be off the bottom of the table; I don’t think there’s going to be any relegation this year from the third division but no one wants to be last.

“We weren’t sure what to expect from Walden, but we went in knowing we were the two teams without any points and that it was an ideal chance to get some.

“Their first team beat us so heavily last season though that we thought it would be tough, so we were a little surprised by such a big gap between their first and second teams.

“We hope we have broken the habit of losing, there were some really positive signs.”

Haverhill are away to East London IV, at their Mile End Park Stadium this Saturday (1pm).

“East London are such a big club,” Bunch added. “They have nine ladies teams, so it will be a very tough game.

“But we’ve got Vicky back, as well as Emma Moss and Helen Salter, who all made such a difference to us on Saturday.

“And Lara Hopewell-Plant has played really well since stepping up from the seconds, she was Player of the Match against Walden.”

l Meanwhile in Division 4NW(S), Haverhill II lost 8-1 away to league leaders Newmarket II last Saturday.

Bunch said 14-year-old Vivienne Payne scored for her third goal of the season as one of a number of ‘young players that keep improving’.

They will look to bounce back this Saturday, away to Cambridge South III (12pm).

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