HOCKEY: Luton Ladies suffer narrow defeat as Shearer bags double for men

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Luton Ladies lost 4-3 to Saffron Walden IIs in their opening Five Counties League Premier Division clash of the season on Saturday.

The visitors trailed early on, but the back four of Ella Dagnall, in her first game as sweeper, Clare Philby, Ayse Samiloglulari and Jean Limpitlaw worked well.

After hitting the post and putting another just wide, on her third penalty corner, Suzanne Starkey found her aim and fired home Luton’s first.

They fell behind again just before the break, but drew level once more in the second period through star player Rochelle Lewsey.

It was Lewsey’s reverse stick pass that led to an excellent strike by Charlotte Dunham making it 3-2, only for Walden to score twice and steal victory late on.

Kerri Wheadon scored the only goal of the game as the IIs saw off Saffron Walden VIs 1-0 in Division Five.

Tara Clancy impressed in the first half, while Sharna Gough made an excellent save. After the break, Gale Charles went close, before Gough prevented Walden from scoring with a superb stop, as Luton won it when Tasnien Ferdous and Helen Beattie combined for Wheadon to net the winner.

The men’s beat Bedford IIIs 4-2 in their East Men’s League Division Three SW clash.

After the visitors went in front, star man Robert Shearer’s double and David Pike’s strike saw Luton lead 3-1.

Bedford hit back to close the gap, before Pike scored again to ensure victory.

The IIs were held 1-1 by Vauxhall in Division Four SW.

Matt Dobson put Luton in front, only for Vauxhall to level by the interval.

In the second period, Luton were down to nine players at one stage, but clung on to draw, Ryan Patel the MOM.

Luton IIIs lost 3-0 to Harpenden IVs in Division Eight SW, keeper Antonio Katsianis the star performer.