Fylde coast hockey review: Blackpool, Lytham St Annes, Rossall
Blackpool Men secured their place in North West division one next season with a much-needed 6-0 home win over relegated Southport.
Able to name substitutes for the first time in several weeks, Blackpool dominated from the off.
Sam Bury enjoyed playing in a more advanced role and linked up well with Jordan Payne.
Steve Whitley and Dave Morgan were looking sharp and it took some fine saves from the Southport goalkeeper kept the game goalless for 10 minutes..
But then the constant pressure paid off as Steve Whitley opened the scoring.
Dec O’Hara stole possession and launched a rapid counter which ended with Bury playing in Dave Morgan for the second goal .
In what could be his last home game for some time due to employment in Egypt, Whitley had a second half to remember, scoring a hat- trick to take his tally for the match to four.
His first second-half goal may have been fortunate as Whitley’s effort took a looping deflection over the goalkeeper.
However, his next two showed his coolness under pressure as he beat the goalkeeper from close range.
Despite Whitley’s tally, O’Hara was named man of the match for his outstanding display at the back, which helped to limit the visitors to just two shots over the 70 minutes.
Blackpool end their season away to Lymm on Saturday, aiming to climb above Wigan for a respectable seventh-place finish.
Blackpool 2 were beaten 10-0 by their Southport counterparts, who are battling relegation, while the Thirds lost 5-3 to Preston 6.
Lytham Ladies’ final home fixture of the season in north division two was a good match against Formby, who ran out 3-2 winners.
Lytham struck first when a string of passes ended with a Heidi Williams goal. Good clearances by Sam Read and Vicki Rees ensured they held the lead until half-time.
Formby upped the pace in the second half and took the lead with two quick strikes.
Lytham hit back as Georgina Read went close on several occasions, while Jen Rawlinson and Aimie Knight pushed into the Formby D.
Lytham had numerous penalty corners but couldn’t force the equaliser and Formby broke clear to make it 3-1.
Lytham fought on and Georgia Perkins pulled one back but an equaliser eluded them in the closing minutes.
Lytham remain eighth and end the season away to a Leyland and Chorley side directly below them.
Lytham 2 visited a determined Windermere first team, whose 5-0 win took them to the top of Lancashire Central division one.
Despite conceding early from a short corner, Lytham settled and it remained 1-0 at half-time, despite the sending-off of Nikki Richmond.
Windermere upped their game in the second half and used their substitutes well. Lytham remain bottom with two to play.
Lytham 3 climbed to the top of division three as a superb display was rewarded with an 8-0 home win against second-bottom Clitheroe and Blackburn Northern 4.
Lauren Gibbons led the way with four goals and other scorers were Jess McIntyre (2), Lucy Knowles and Minnie Rogers.
The win leaves Lytham three points clear at the top, with two games against mid-table Lancaster 4 to play.
Lytham St Annes Men fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 away to bottom club Colwyn Bay in North Two West. Colwyn opened Lytham up in the early stages and scored twice.
Lytham finally began to break down the Colwyn attacks and turn the tide, Louis Weir pulling one back from a penalty corner.
Andy Taylor slid a pass to Andy Copeland, whose effort was blocked on the line to ensure the hosts led 2-1 at half-time. Errors cost Lytham an equaliser until the final 15 minutes, when Joe Yates set up Copeland to shoot between the keeper’s legs.
Tempers frayed in the later stages but the draw keeps LSA eighth ahead of Saturday’s final match at home to City of Manchester.
Relegated LSA 2 played out a 3-3 home draw with University of Liverpool 2 in North West division four north, while LSA 3 lost their penultimate match away to third-placed Lancaster and Morecambe 2 4-0 in five north north.
The Thirds made a valiant effort, with captain Aaron Gee keeping goal due to the lack of a specialist. The hosts scored twice in each half, though John Muir and Steve Poole were solid for LSA.
Blackpool Ladies lost 4-1 to Lancaster and Morecambe 2 at Stanley Park in their battle to beat the drop from Lancashire Central division one.
New recruit Rebecca Haresecugh looked strong, as did Gemma Prestwich, Daniella Parziale and Amy Partington in the middle but the visitors broke the deadlock shortly before half-time.
Chloe Mallinson linked up well with Gemma Prestwich to equalise but as Blackpool tired Lancaster added more goals. Player of the match Debs Hillier was solid alongside Vicky Hives in defence but Blackpool remain second-bottom with two to play.
Blackpool 2 lost 5-0 at Brookfields in division two.
Rossall Ladies had a resounding 5-0 win away to Fylde 3 to consolidate their top-four place in Lancashire Central division one with two to play.
They took the lead in Preston with a Jill Wilson penalty flick after a shot was blocked by a foot on the goal-line.
Newly returned Shona Henderson made some fine runs and went one on one with the keeper to make it 2-0 at half-time.
Rossall grew in confidence in the second half and added three more goals, two of them by player of the match Tracy Housley. Alexandra Holden was also on target.