Forget unbeaten run and focus on promotion says Wisbech Ladies Hockey Club captain

CAPTAIN Natalie Ward has urged her Wisbech Ladies hockey team-mates to forget about the prospect of an unbeaten season and focus solely on gaining promotion.

The table-topping Wisbech ladies’ phenomenal golden run stretched into the new year on Saturday when goals from Georgie Dunn (2), Jane Peggs and Claire Apted saw the side return from the six-week Christmas break by thumping St Ives 4-1.

The streak - stretching twelve games in all competitions - has contained 11 wins and only one goalless draw, but skipper Ward, 22, is refusing to get carried away.

“I’d like to think we could go unbeaten but realistically Cambridge University will push us,” said the centre-midfielder, whose side drew 0-0 with their fellow unbeaten challengers in November.

“It’ll be a massive game when we play them again because they’re the strongest side we’ve played so far.

“We’re not as strong as we have been in the past but we’ve really gelled this season. The team spirit is great and we’ve had a bit of luck along the way too.

“Our belief is growing and although we’d like to be able to say we’d gone the whole season unbeaten, it would only be the icing on the cake because promotion is our major aim.”

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Wisbech have not played in the East Women’s Hockey League Premier Division for around five years and Ward - a loyal 10-year servant at the club - is determined to grab one of Division One North’s two promotion slots.

A 12-point gap could be opened up over third-placed Saffron Walden with a victory against bottom side Cambridge City II tomorrow. Wisbech then resume their HA Trophy campaign against Newark on Sunday.

Ward said: “I was worried on Saturday when we went 1-0 down but we kept our heads and carried on where we left off, which is encouraging.

“Steph Hanlon has come back from New Zealand and improved immensely and the twins, Claire Apted and Erica Burrell, have stood out but it’s really been a team effort.

“We’ve got a varied age group - some young girls from the seconds have come in and done well - so it’s all about keeping our heads if we do lose a game.”