Phil Roper is very much the man with the golden touch and Sheffield Hallam Civica are reaping the rewards.
The England Under-21 international fired home a second consecutive hat-trick to seal a 4-1 victory at last season’s league winners Deeside Ramblers and give their promotion hopes a huge boost.
It was Civica’s fourth straight league win and put them top of the table with just six games to go.
It took Roper just two minutes to open his account and the home side then squandered an opportunity to draw level when they fired a penalty stroke wide of Metcalfe’s goal. They were made to pay when the ball bounced back off the post and Will Hearne completed an easy tap-in.
The score remained the same until 10 minutes from time when Roper converted a second short corner and although Deeside scrambled one back, a late short corner allowed that man Roper to complete his hat-trick.
They now look to the visit of Harborne next Sunday.
Hallam’s second team let slip a two goal lead to go down 3-2 against North Division One rivals Leeds 1, a side coached by former Abbeydale coach Lewis Butcher.
Tim Baker gave Sheffield a deserved lead midway through the first half when he stabbed home a lose ball and five minutes after the break Pat Allerton increased the advantage. The visitors levelled it up with two goals in three minutes and then netted the winner in the 70 minute.
Fifth-place Hallam look for their first victory in six when they cross the city to play Sheffield University Bankers 2s who are six points adrift at the bottom (1.30pm).
A brace from Nick Sims and one each for Man of the Match Tim Elliott and Ed Cant earned the Thirds a 4-1 win over Kingston-upon-Hull 2 but the Fourths almost let a 4-0 half time lead slip against Harrogate 2. James Harrison, Chris Freeman, Chris Wilkins and Jerry Ferreira got the goals but it was bitten fingernails time in the second half as Harrogate hit back with three of their own.
It’s that old one-two scenario for Sheffield Hallam Ladies with positives very much in mind.
They lost out by the only goal of the game at leaders Whitley Bay last Saturday and now face second-in-the-table Ben Rhydding at Abbeydale on Saturday (11.45am).
It’s the first part of a double-header weekend as they meet Chester in a rearranged match on Sunday (noon start).
Sheffield Hockey Club will formally switch on their new floodlights on Sunday (3.20pm). The event is preceeded by Hallam women’s first team match against Chester (noon) and the men’s first team clash against Harbone. It is followed by a Junior and Parent Mini-Challenge which includes a penalty shoot-out and cross bar challenge.