Fylde coast end-of-season hockey review: Fylde Ladies lift the Lishman Cup again

The Fylde Ladies' Fourth team who retained the Lishman Cup
The Fylde Ladies' Fourth team who retained the Lishman Cup
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Fylde Hockey Club is celebrating a cup triumph to end the season, while two other teams finished runners-up in knockout competitions.

Fylde Hockey Club is celebrating a cup triumph to end the season, while two other teams finished runners-up in knockout competitions.

The Ladies Fourth team retained the Lishman Cup with a 2-1 win over Lancaster and Morecambe 2 in the final at Preston Hockey Club.

Fylde made a nervous start but found their feet to dominate the final 15 minutes of the first half. But despite numerous shots they could not make the breakthrough and it remained 0-0 at half-time.

That soon changed after the restart as Aleisha Mansfield put Fylde ahead. Lancaster equalised only for Sophie Bridges to restore the Fylde lead. Fylde then stood firm for a hard-fought 2-1 win to achieve the rare feat of retaining the cup.

Fylde Men’s senior side came close to securing more silverware for the club but lost the Lancashire Trophy final 4-2 on penalty strokes after the decider against Southport had ended 3-3.

Fylde, who have won promotion from division two as runners-up, faced the division three champions in a thrilling final at Wigan.

Spurred on by a coachload of supporters, Southport made the brighter start but Fylde weathered the early storm and used their pace to open the scoring.

Under-18s player of the year Joe Neath swept the ball across from the right for Jordan Payne’s slight touch to put Fylde in front after 15 minutes.

Southport’s keeper denied Payne one-on-one and twice stopped penalty-corner strikes from Oli Santamera to keep the score at 1-0.

Fylde goalkeeper Nigel Sadler was kept busy by a series Southport penalty corners and was relieved to see Jack Cropper clear off the line from one of them.

Payne blasted a shot through a crowded D to double Fylde’s lead on the stroke of half-time.

Southport attacked at pace after the restart and pulled one back with a reverse-stick shot only for Payne to find space to complete his hat-trick and restore Fylde’s two-goal lead.

An open, end-to-end game saw Southport hit a post before pulling one back from a penalty corner. Fylde’s captain Simon Major was shown a yellow card for a foul and the 10 men conceded an equaliser from a tight angle.

With the heat affecting both sides, there were no further goals and the tie went straight to penalties after with no extra-time.

Both sides scored their first two, with Jack Cropper and Alex Horrocks finding the target for Fylde, but then Rob Jepson’s low push was kicked away. And when Jay Currey’s effort was also saved Southport could celebrate their triumph, though this was a highly successful first season for Fylde after the merger with Blackpool.

Fylde Girls’ Under-10 were runners-up in the England Hockey North Regional Finals.

They reached the semi-finals after winning two of their group games, against Thirsk and Kirkby Stephen, while losing to Alderley Edge.

They met an unbeaten Chester side and won 1-0 to earn a rematch with Alderley Edge in the final.

This proved a match too far on an energy-sapping afternoon, though the girls deserved praise for their achievement.

In the equivalent North Regional Finals for Under-12s, Fylde won one, drew two and lost one to finish fourth in their group. This was a memorable experience and the club gave its thanks to coaches Fran Loffler-Thompson and Adele Piddington, and to team manager Katherine Wholey.

The club’s final league match of the season was a 3-0 win for Fylde Men’s 4 away to Kirkby Lonsdale 2 in North West six north.

Fylde broke the deadlock late in the first half and added two more as the hosts chased the game. Chris Blackburn, Chris Walker and man of the match Dan Howe were the scorers in a solid all-round Fylde performance.