Blackpool Men got off the mark in North West Division 1 with a 5-2 victory over Bowdon 3 at Stanley Park.
New captain Ian Swaine experimented with a new formation but Blackpool were thankful to Graeme Kilshaw for two important saves.
Blackpool made the breakthrough with a piece of brilliance from Simon Thomas, who controlled the ball off the ground and slotted home.
Bowdon equalised five minutes later from a penalty corner and it remained 1-1 at half-time.
Both sides were much-improved in the second half and Dave Morgan converted a well-worked penalty corner for Blackpool.
Again Bowdon pulled level. Kilshaw made another fine save but could do little about the rebound as two Bowdon players lined up to convert at the back post.
Paul Atherton launched a counter-attack down Blackpool’s left from a Bowdon penalty corner and within five seconds Jordan Payne put the ball in the back of the net from a quickfire three-man move.
Blackpool dominated the closing 20 minutes as Morgan and Payne doubled their goal tally.
Sam Bury set up both on his return to action down the left as Blackpool ran out comfortable winners, with Thomas a clear man of the match.
Blackpool’s 2 travelled to Manchester but were outclassed 11-0 by a Didsbury Northern 4 team playing fluent hockey.
Blackpool Ladies showed plenty of effort but Longridge 3 proved the stronger side to win their Lancashire Central division two hockey clash 4-0.
It was a tough game from the start as Blackpool looked to build on their opening win but Longridge were ahead by half-time.
Blackpool never gave up and got on top in the second half but the Longridge keeper kept them at bay.
The umpire gave a warning to the Longridge team and their supporters over their behaviour following a complaint by Blackpool.
Blackpool’s youngest player Katie Ansell needed hospital treatment for an injury.
Their outstanding players were Sandra Wood, Laura Girvan and Danni Parziale.
Lytham Ladies continued their fine form to defeat Northern 4-2. Lytham opened the scoring when Georgina Read finished a fine passing move with a powerful shot.
The defence remained solid to protect the lead until half-time. Lytham attacked strongly at the start of the second half and Georgia Perkins doubled the lead with a perfectly timed deflection.
Read (right) soon slotted her second, reacting quickest to the rebound after Perkins’ strike had been illegally stopped with a foot.
Northern were not to be underestimated and cut the deficit to 3-2 to set up a nailbiting final few minutes.
However, Tasha Webster finally secured a well-deserved win with a goal in the dying moments to leave Lytham second in the table.
Lytham Ladies 2 played out a 4-4 draw away to Clitheroe and Blackburn 2, having conceded in the opening moments.
And despite some excellent runs and quick passing they trailed 2-0 at half-time. It got worse as Lytham struggled to find their rhythm after the restart and fell 3-0 behind.
Minnie Rogers began the comeback with a counter-attacking goal and Lisa Swaite made it 3-2 as the hosts came under sustained pressure.
Several shots were saved before Jasmine Carey equalised with a deflected effort. Clitheroe and Blackburn hit back to test keeper Maisie Rogers and ultimately regain the lead.
But Lytham were not to be denied and a beautiful goal from Tia Pumphrey sealed a share of the spoils.
The clubs’ third teams also met and Lytham picked up their first point following promotion with a 1-1 draw.
After a goalless first half, Clitheroe and Blackburn opened the scoring from a short corner.
Lytham surged forward for the equaliser, which was scored by Jess Mangnall at the left post from Jess McIntyre’s pass. Lytham couldn’t go on to secure the win but the young side’s gallant efforts bode well for the season ahead.
Lytham Men played out a 4-4 draw with newly-relegated Alderley Edge 2. They started as they meant to go on as Tom Evans opened the scoring.
Alderly soon equalised but Matt Shawcross put Lytham back in front at half-time.
Lytham fought hard but couldn’t deny Alderley another equaliser, though they went in front for a third time from an excellent run from Toby McPhee.
To continue the pattern, Alderly equalised only for veteran Tom Atkinson to put Lytham ahead yet again with a superb strike from a short corner. There was still time for Alderley to peg them back yet again as honours ended even.
Martin Currie put Lytham 2 ahead at wet and windy Windermere. They held the lead until half-time but Windermere drew level shortly after the restart.
Lytham took control as Currie’s second was quickly followed by a Mike Gannon strike and excellent teamwork sealed a 3-1 win.
Rossall Ladies were 6-2 winners over newly promoted Chorley & Leyland in their first home match.
Rossall fell behind but Lucia Stefani shepherded Alice Young’s terrific strike over the line to make it 1-1 at half-time. Captain Alex Holden followed up a shot off the keeper’s pads to put Rossall ahead in the second half but Chorley equalised.
Jill Perkes-Wilson’s great run resulted in Samantha Wilde tapping home and Rossall never looked back, with debutant Debbie Slater among the scorers.