HOCKEY: City of Peterborough lose their do-or-die battle with new champions Wapping

Ross Ambler (red) of City of Peterborough in action against Wapping. Photo: David Lowndes.

Ross Ambler (red) of City of Peterborough in action against Wapping. Photo: David Lowndes.

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A lacklustre first-half display cost City of Peterborough in their quest to keep alive East Premier A Division title hopes.

City had to beat leaders Wapping at Bretton Gate on Saturday (March 12) to take the title race into the final weekend of the season, but found themselves 2-0 down at the break.

Action from City of Peterborough (red) against Wapping. Photo: David Lowndes.

Action from City of Peterborough (red) against Wapping. Photo: David Lowndes.

A Shane Vincent short corner strike 15 minutes from time delivered some hope, but Wapping held out and deservedly celebrated wildly at the final whistle after clinching top spot and promotion to the National League.

The first-half was a tense affair of few chances until the visitors captured a crucial lead with a superb reverse stick strike after catching City napping from a quickly-taken free hit 10 minutes before the break. They scored again just before half-time from the second phase of a short corner.

City’s best opportunity had arrived early on, but an unkind deflection wrong-footed skipper Ross Booth as he looked set to pounce.

After Vincent’s goal City dominated possession, but couldn’t find a way past a well-drilled and disciplined Wapping defence.

City remain in second place and a win at Bedford in their final fixture next Saturday (March 19) would confirm them as runners-up. A defeat, and City do have the distraction of an English Cup semi-final at home to National League side Beeston the following day (March 20), could drop them to fourth in a very competitive division.