GALLERY: March Town hockey men crowned champions after thumping win

PUBLISHED: 10:13 18 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:13 18 March 2014

March men hockey v City of Peterborough V. Picture: Steve Williams.

March men hockey v City of Peterborough V. Picture: Steve Williams.

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March Town Hockey Club cruised to a remarkable 17th straight win to clinch East Men’s Division 3NW with a game to spare on Saturday.

March men hockey v City of Peterborough V. Picture: Steve Williams.March men hockey v City of Peterborough V. Picture: Steve Williams.

Talismanic forward Jody Betts hit a hat-trick, Ben Wright bagged a brace and there were goals for Dan Shirley and Adam Graham in a 7-2 rout of City of Peterborough V at Neale-Wade Academy.

March have not dropped a point since they lost 2-1 to closest challengers City of Peterborough IV on October 12.

Captain Matthew Bamford said: “People will say, since we dropped down two leagues last term, we should win the league.

“But March doesn’t have the same catchment area as Wisbech, Peterborough or Cambridge and losing a lot of players really affected us.

March Hockey Team.March Hockey Team.

“We are starting to build again and hopefully we will soon be back to where we were.”

Wright broke the deadlock with a reverse stick shot then slotted past the keeper to double the lead.

Betts scored the third as he deflected in from an Graham strike, before Betts and Graham combined again for the fourth goal with Betts producing a sublime finish.

Good work from James Fountain allowed Betts to complete his hat trick before half time.

The second half was more even and Peterborough pegged a goal back but Shirley scored the sixth with a thunderbolt strike.

Peterborough got their second from a short corner but Graham completed the scoring with a fine individual effort.

Bamford paid tribute to Betts, who has scored a staggering 50 goals this campaign and needs one more in March’s final game at Bourne Deeping II to break the club record for the most in a season.

He said: “Jody is the ideal striker. If you give him the ball in the D most of the time he will put it away.

“But it is the other players who have been creating the chances for him.

“Since we have had a settled side we know which runs people are going to make.”

Also on Saturday, March men’s II picked up their first win in three months as they beat City of Peterborough VI 3-1.

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