Fylde coast hockey review: Fylde Men promoted and Lytham St Annes Ladies seal title
Fylde Men sealed promotion from North West division two thanks to an emphatic 5-1 derby win away to Preston 3.
Fylde dominated possession, creating chances throughout, and opened the scoring when Rob Jepson fired home from a tight angle following a well-worked penalty corner.
They doubled the lead when Oli Santamera stormed upfield, beating five players before firing for the bottom corner, James Oakes applying the finishing touch.
Fylde added a second after half-time, when Jordan Payne won possession and set up Oakes to score his second with a calm finish.
There were a few nervy moments after Preston pulled one back, though Cropper, Major and Swaine stayed resolute in defence.
And victory was sealed when Chris Toward broke free to smash his shot into the bottom corner, then Payne made it five with a stylish finish from the top D.
The final whistle saw the celebrations begin as captain Major and coach Simcock achieved promotion in their first season.
Assured of second place at least, Fylde face a title showdown away to leaders Timperley 2 in this weekend’s final match.
Fylde 2 went down 5-1 at home to South Lakes in the battle of the bottom two in division three north.
A win would have left Fylde with everything to play for in Saturday’s final match at home to City of Manchester 2 but they couldn’t make the most of a bright start.
Alex Horrocks converted a penalty stroke to make it 1-1 at the break but the Cumbrians’ four second-half goals consigned Fylde to the wooden spoon.
The clubs clashed again in five north north, as Fylde 3 lost 3-1 away to South Lancs 2. Fylde tried to conserve energy with only 11 players but soon fell behind.
The visitors were level at half-time as Eamon Hasoon set up man of the match Will Pickles for the equaliser.
But Fylde had used up too much energy and conceded twice in the second half. They have slipped to sixth but could climb to fourth in the final standings with victory away to Lancaster and Morecambe 2.
Fylde 4 won their penultimate league game 3-1 against Keswick 3 at Mill Farm, where debutant Charlie McNamee was named man of the match.
The left winger’s cross to the far post was converted by Alex Eastham .
Fylde dominated the second half, doubling their lead when Jay Mayne won possession, advanced into the D and gave the keeper no chance with a cracking diagonal shot.
Keswick pulled one back but Tom Wilson stopped a strong hit and fired home to seal the win.
McNamee’s fellow young players Hugo Mace, Dan Howe, Jack Kenmare and Eastham all impressed for Fylde, who are set to finish fifth in division six north.
A 4-0 defeat did not reflect Fylde Ladies’ efforts in their penultimate Conference North fixture away to Loughborough Students.
Fylde faced a well-drilled, fast team, who scored early. Fylde responded well but couldn’t take their chances and the hosts were 3-0 up at half-time.
Fylde showed tenacity and defended well in the second half, restricting Loughborough to one more goal, and their team spirit stands them in good stead for Saturday’s season-closer at home to Durham University.
The other ladies’ teams played their final league games on Saturday, when Fylde 2 slipped to third in the North division two north wes table, beaten 2-1 away to runners-up Formby. This was difficult to take for a side that led the league for much of the season, though they still won promotion to the new North West division one.
Hannah Mears scored from a corner in a game Fylde should have won, though Formby took their chances in a sporting contest.
Fylde 3’s late goal away to Garstang 2 secured a draw and promotion from the Lancashire Central premier division.
Having fallen behind in the first five minutes, Fylde found their rhythm and pulled level with Hattie Madden’s fantastic strike from a short corner.
Garstang regained the lead and their outstanding keeper repeatedly denied Hannah Mears and Bo Madden before Hattie Madden scored her second in the final moments.
Player of the match Gemma Eastham, Laura Alexander and Amy Merrick all used the ball well as Fylde climbed to third in the final table.
Fylde 4 finished sixth in division one after a 6-1 derby victory over Fulwood at Mill Farm. Player of the match Aggie Barker-Mill and Aleisha Mansfield both scored twice, while Lindsey Tait and Sophie Bridges were also on target in a great team display ahead of this weekend’s cup final against Lancaster and Morecambe 2 in Preston.
Fylde 5 avenged a heavy defeat by Lancaster 4 to finish ninth in their first division two season.
Holly Swarbrick scored the only goal and Abi Johnson’s excellence in defence saw her named player of the match.
Fylde Under-14 Girls finished top of their regional league in the EHB Championship after a 6-0 win over Timperley.
Phoebe Caunce (2), Hattie Madden (2), Bella Bowker and Bo Madden scored for Fylde, who netted three in each half, while Olivia Merrick impressed on her debut.
Lytham St Annes Ladies secured promotion and the North Division Two north west title in style with a 5-0 victory in their final fixture away to Preston.
LSA had won their previous meeting 8-0 but were under far more pressure this time. However, they attacked from the off and played almost the whole match in Preston’s half, Emily Adams nailing the opening goal from the top of the D.
Preston’s defensive tactics frustrated LSA and it remained 1-0 until half-time.
However, their patient passing style eventually drew the hosts out and the goals followed from Grace Webster, Jasmine Carey and two by Georgina Read.
It was decided to share the player of the match award between all those who represented the team in its most successful season. The players also expressed thanks to coach Raj Toor for his wholehearted commitment.
Lancashire Central division one champions Lytham 2 ended their season with a 1-1 draw against runners-up Southport at Ansdell Arena..
After a fast start, Lytham settled into their short passing game and Lily Ganchi put them ahead from a well-rehearsed short corner routine, though the visitors soon equalised.
A tense second half brought no goals as several players defied injury to keep LSA on level terms in a match befitting the league’s top two teams.
This was followed by Lytham 3’s final match in division two as they defeated bottom club Garstang 4 2-0.
Lytham pressed from the off and Jess Mason shot narrowly wide before opening the scoring, having exchanged passes with Lara Pilling.
With Izzy Collings and Ruby Hodgkinson solid in defence, LSA doubled their lead before half-time with a beautiful goal by player of the match Minnie Robertson. This third win of the season lifted LSA to third-bottom.
Lytham Men fell behind early but recovered to win their final home game of the season in North Two West 5-2 against Didsbury Northern 2.
An injury in the warm-up restricted LSA to 12 players at AKS, where they conceded a tap-in after five minutes.
But LSA responded quickly, earning several penalty corners, and Will Dowbiggin’s flick was deflected in by Neil Mallalieu for the equaliser.
As Lytham took control at the back, Adam Green’s superb ball from left-back sent Dowbiggin through one-on-one to put his side ahead.
They help their lead until half-time after a tense few minutes in which Didsbury had a goal disallowed.
Dowbiggin’s second made it 3-1, though the man of the match hit the side-netting with a fine hat-trick chance.
Didsbury pulled one back but Tom Evans’ deflected strike made it 4-2 with five minutes left, then Will Stone got forward to seal victory with a reverse-stick effort.
It wasn’t enough to lift Lytham off the bottom but the win gives them heart for Saturday’s final fixture at Brooklands 3.
Lytham 2 lost 2-0 away to Formby 4 and complete their season against Southport 2 at Ansdell Arena on Saturday.