Fylde coast hockey review: Lytham Ladies' successful season, Rossall on brink of title, Blackpool men relegated
Lytham St Annes Ladies' senior hockey team were convincing 4-0 winners over Garstang in their penultimate match of the season in North division two.
Garstang tried to suppress the young frontline of Grace Wester and Tasha Webster, though the impressive Heidi Williams drove at their defence as the home side added a second by half-time.
The second half followed a similar pattern, with Lytham more composed in their passing. Walker made it three with a powerful drag-flick from a penalty corner.
The hosts’ fitness showed as they dominated the final quarter.
Amie Knighton marshalled her defence well and after a flowing passing movement resulted in Grace Webster dancing round several defenders to complete their scoring.
The team complete their season away to Clitheroe and Blackburn Northern on Saturday, knowing victory will greatly improve their chances of holding on to second place.
Whatever happens, this has been a successful and enjoyable season, which the club can be proud of, with several teenagers developing into fine team players.
Lytham Ladies 2 were 2-0 winners away to their Lancaster and Morecombe counterparts in Lancashire Central division one.
They passed and pressed well from the start, Tia Pumphrey sweeping home the opening goal, while the hosts’ few attempts on goal were well saved by Maisie Rogers.
Pumphrey was also involved in the second goal after half-time, passing to Malley Parsons who beat two defenders before firing into the bottom right corner.
The Ladies are fifth in the table with two games remaining.
Leyland and Chorley 3 climbed out of the bottom two in Lancashire Central division two with a 5-0 win over Lytham Ladies 3 at AKS.
Bottom club Lytham played the whole game a player short and had plenty of chances in the first half, when they restricted the visitors to just one goal.
The hosts tired in the second half but battled bravely on as some fine saves by Katie Holt kept the score down.
Five goals by Matt Shawcross couldn’t spare Lytham St Annes Men an agonising 7-6 defeat away to Crewe Vagrants in North two west.
Despite calling on the walking wounded to make up a team of 11, LSA started strongly and a Shawcross double put them 2-0 up fromm short corners delivered by Andrew Copeland.
The Crewe comeback began but Lytham soaked up pressure well and scored two more through Shawcross and Alex Beauchamp.
Crewe equalised as Lytham committed too many players forward but Shawcross netted their fifth from another short corner.
However, LSA’s inability to make substitutions took its toll as Crewe pegged them back to take a two-goal lead.
Man of the match Shawcross’ shot from the top of the D found the roof of the net but they didn’t have the time or legs to force an equaliser, though they emerged with great credit.
The defeat saw LSA slip to ninth, just one point above Crewe, with two matches left.
Rossall Ladies require just one point from their final two games to be confirmed as champions of Lancashire Central division one after an 8-0 home victory over Brookfields.
Alex Holden opened the scoring in the first minute after a great run by Tracey Housley.
Jill Perkes-Wilson quickly added a second after good work by Emma Gilfoyle.
Tracey got on the scoresheet herself after a run from just inside the Brookfields half.
Tizz Hall deftly turned in number four, following a sublime pass from Gemma Prestwich, and scored her second just before half-time.
Rossall laid siege to the Brookfields goal after half-time, Gilfoyle scoring perhaps the goal of the game, wrongfooting the keeper after a fine passing move.
Jill Shepherd got the final touch to Housley’s shot for her second and Prestwich completed the scoring with a firm strike at the far post as Rossall retained their three-point lead at the top.
Blackpool Ladies were well beaten 5-1 at UCLan Arena by Fulwood, who clinched their top-two place in Lancashire Central division two at Blackpool’s expense.
The visitors were missing regular players and took time to get going, conceding two early goals.
Emily Wyman pulled one back from a tidy pass by Maria Adams, who came out of retirement for the match, though it was 3-1 by half-time.
Vicky Hives was outstanding in defence as Fulwood sustained their pressure in the second half, adding two goals.
Blackpool remain third with two games to play but can climb no higher.
Blackpool Men’s relegation from North West division one was confirmed with a 7-3 home defeat by Keswick in their final Stanley Park fixture of the season.
Two goals from Dave Morgan and one from Andy Mortimer couldn’t prevent bottom club Blackpool’s fate from being sealed with two away games still to play.
They played well in patches, but mistakes in possession and mid-table Keswick’s clinical finishing proved their undoing.
Blackpool 2 also conceded seven at home to their Keswick counterparts in division four north.
The relegated home side made eight changes and started strongly against the fourth-placed Cumbrians.
Blackpool opened the scoring when Chris Walker ran through from halfway and squeezed his sublime shot between keeper and post.
However, Keswick too control as they began to catch Blackpool on the break and exploit overlaps to move into a 5-1 half-time lead.
The Blackpool defence tightened up in the second half, restricting Keswick to two more goals.
However, the hosts couldn’t add to their own goal tally despite Keiffer Earnshaw and Ashlie Holmes linking up well and forcing the keeper into several saves.
Garstang Ladies 2 kept up the pressure on Lancashire Central premier divison leaders Preston with a 3-0 home win over third-placed Lancaster and Morecambe.
Looking to avenge their defeat at Lancaster, Garstang came under early pressure and were forced into a goal-line clearance from a penalty corner.
Katherine Watson opened the scoring after exchanging passes with Hannah Crawshay, then Summer Muirhead broke free from her marker to make it 2-0 at half-time.
As Garstang’s defence dominated the second half and supplied good ball to the attackers, Megan Coar completed the scoring with a neat deflection after a penalty corner was saved.
The win leaves Garstang two points behind Preston with three to play.
There was also success for the Garstang 3, who defeated Leyland and Chorley 2 5-0.