Fylde coast hockey round-up: New league season under way
Blackpool Men got their North West division one season off to a perfect start with a 4-2 win at Urmston .
The home side dominated the early play as Blackpool started the game a man short after travel problems and struggled to get out of their own half.
It was no surprise when Blackpool fell behind, but with a full complement they began to gain a foothold as Jay Currey and Dave Morgan combined.
The former was floored by the goalkeeper to win a penalty stroke and Rob Dingle made no mistake, levelling the scores with his side’s first shot.
Blackpool’s task became more difficult when Sam Robinson hobbled off with a knee injury. Without a substitute, it was backs to the wall for the away side.
Urmston took advantage, converting their third penalty corner with a thunderous shot into the top corner to lead 2-1 at half-time.
Blackpool changed tactics to play the injured Robinson further upfield.
Within minutes they were back on terms as Dec O’Hara’s long ball split the defence and Morgan brought Blackpool level.
Dan Woodman and Morgan then combined to give the visitors the lead for the first time via a penalty corner.
Urmston fought hard for an equaliser but squandered several shooting opportunities. As frustration began to get the better of them, Blackpool landed the killer blow when Robinson netted his first competitive goal for the team.
A cagey 10 minutes ensued but the visitors held on for a well-earned three points.
Blackpool Seconds battled to a hard-fought 1-1 home draw against Warrington’s senior side in their first game after promotion to division four north.
After a goalless first half, Blackpool came out with a more direct and attacking mindset, taking the lead through Andy Mortimer’s sweetly struck low shot.
Warrington worked their way back into the game and equalised with 10 minutes to spare, when sloppy defending resulted in a simple tap-in.
The visitors could have stolen all three points in the closing minutes, when their striker shot wide with the goal gaping.
Blackpool Men’s thirds fell to a 4-2 defeat away to their Keswick counterparts in six north north, which made for a gruelling 220-mile round trip.
After conceding an early goal, Blackpool got back on level terms when Keiffer Earnshaw’s shot took a deflection off a defender. A couple of mistakes in the defence when trying to clear, Blackpool trailed 3-1 at half-time.
The second half was much more even, but Keswick defended strongly despite Blackpool regularly reaching the edge of the D.
Keswick scored a fourth goal but Blackpool’s heads didn’t drop and a counter-attack led to Ashlie Holmes’ strike on goal being converted by Oli McVicor. Blackpool pressed forward but couldn’t close the gap further.
Blackpool Under-13s were edged out 5-4 away to Neston, who had taken a 4-0 lead by the end of the first third.
Blackpool regrouped in the second and quickly pulled two goals back. A further two goals from each side ended a closely fought game.
Blackpool Ladies began their season with a 1-1 derby draw against Fylde Ladies Thirds at Stanley Park in Lancashire Central division one.
Fylde took the lead following an even first half but Blackpool reacted strongly and got back on level terms when Amy Barrow scored, set up by Jade Yarwood.
Both sides attacked and defended well but the game petered out into a draw.
Blackpool Seconds had a far tougher time of it against Fylde, losing 11-0 to their fourth team in division two.
Most of the Blackpool squad were debutants under the age of 15, though several of them showed great promise in a match played in very good spirit.
Rossall Ladies started their Central Lancashire first division campaign with a 4-2 home win over Windermere.
The Fleetwood side could not capitalise on their early possession and the game remained deadlocked until the 29th minute, when the Cumbrians scored from the edge of the D.
The visitors held their lead until half-time but captain Deb Wilson spurred Rossall on after the restart and Grace Finney equalised following a goalmouth skirmish on 38 minutes.
Prompted by Tracey Housley, Rossall played some expansive hockey and took the lead from a penalty corner on 48 minutes, when Grace McKnight scored from Jill Perkes-Wilson’s cross.
Finney scored her second three minutes later and Caroline Hardt added the fourth after more fluent play.
Windermere fought back strongly and scored their second in the final minute. Excellent midfield play earned Housley the player of the match award.
Lytham Ladies fell to a 1-0 defeat away to Garstang in their opening match in north division two north west .
The visitors began the game well, with several penalty corners, and Georgia Perkins went closest to opening the scoring.
A couple of errors enabled Garstang to take a 1-0 half-time lead. Lytham fought back in the second half, with Lauren Lockhart creating a number of opportunities that went begging.
Lytham Ladies Thirds won 2-1 away to Longridge Fourths.
The new players slotted in comfortably and Fran Beeby shone, scoring two goals from well-worked moves.
Longridge pulled one back but Lytham held firm in a promising first outing.
LSA Men opened their new season with a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Wilmslow at AKS.