Fylde coast hockey round-up: Lytham St Annes, Blackpool and Garstang

Gilly Shields on the attack for Lytham Ladies
Gilly Shields on the attack for Lytham Ladies
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Lytham Ladies were held to a thrilling 6-6 draw by bottom club South Lakes in North Division Two at AKS.

Lytham were tested from the very start and committed too many errors in decision-making and marking.

Hazel Cockerill opened the scoring following an excellent run by Livvy Hawtin.

Georgia Perkins then scored twice to make it three, her second one of Lytham’s most spectacular goals of the season – a shot lifted into the top of the net from the edge of the D.

South Lakes hit back with three goals of their own and it was all square at half-time.

Amy Horrocks marked her welcome return by nailing a free ball to score the fourth.

Perkins completed her hat-trick with a penalty stroke and Malley Parsons’ first goal for the team was an outstanding finish from Cockerill’s strong pass. But South Lakes kept on coming back and a late equaliser sealed a share of the spoils as Lytham remain seventh.

Lytham St Annes’ men also drew with Cumbrian opposition, fighting back for a dramatic 3-3 scoreline away to Windermere in North Two West.

Desperate for points to stay out of relegation danger, LSA started well enough but couldn’t prevent their hosts from taking a 2-0 lead in the cold and wet conditions.

LSA pulled one back by half-time as Toby McPhee was brought down inside the D and Gaz Sym confidently converted the penalty .

Windermere went 3-1 ahead from a penalty corner but LSA found another gear in the final 10 minutes.

Will Robinson set up a thrilling finish with a peach of a reverse shot through the keeper’s legs to make it 3-2.

With just a minute to go, Tom Atkinson linked up with McPhee before Louis Gannon drove into the D and fired a reverse shot against the crossbar. The rebound fell for Neil Mallaleiu to score with an overhead shot.

LSA 2 were beaten 8-1 by Warrington’s senior side in their North West Four North clash at AKS, while LSA 3 played out another 0-0 draw, this time away to a Leyland and Chorley 2 side who are just above them in Five North.

LSA had plenty of chances but could not capitalise on six short corners.

Mick Hayes and Gregg Bishop went closest for LSA, while Leyland were denied by strong defending and good goalkeeping by Joe Craig, while steve Poole and Simon Long were strong in the centre.

It was a familiar story for Blackpool Men at Stanley Park, where they failed to take their chances against Bowdon 3 and lost 3-2 in North West Division One.

The first half was open and even with chances for both sides but it was Bowdon who led 1-0 at half-time.

Blackpool improved after the break and were good value for Sam Robinson’s breakaway equaliser.

Both teams scored from penalty corners and it was 2-2 with 15 minutes remaining.

But as both sides pushed for a winner, it was Bowdon who scored to leave a seven-point margin between these mid-table rivals.

Blackpool 2 lost 5-1 away to second-placed Kirkby Lonsdale in North West Four North, meaning it was left to Blackpool 3 to record the club’s best result of the weekend.

They faced their Keswick counterparts at Stanley Park in Division Six North, where they won 2-1. Like the other two Blackpool teams, the Thirds had no substitutes but they began strongly as David Wright lifted a shot over the keeper, who had saved his initial effort from Matt Atherton’s left-wing cross.

Joe Neath and Ollie Tomlinson were dominant in the middle and the returning Harrison Cardwell also caused Keswick problems in a more advanced position but Blackpool were unable to add a second by half-time.

Keswick came out stronger in the second half and equalised from their first penalty corner of the match.

But Blackpool continued to attack and Tomlinson’s strong run from halfway was finished with a firm shot into the corner by Atherton.

Promotion-chasing Keswick never gave up and it took a waist-high clearance by Peter Latimer in the last minute to deny them an equaliser. Cardwell was named man of the match.

Garstang Ladies Hockey Club’s first team were 5-1 winners when they entertained Preston at the weekend.

On the back of two successive defeats – their poorest form in almost three years – and having slipped to fourth in the table, the Reds were determined to take three points and get back in the race for second with leaders Pendle, realistically, out of sight.

Twenty-five minutes into Saturday’s game and the Preston keeper made a series of great double saves, the first while on the floor before recovering to make two more from Kiery Horne.

Garstang broke the deadlock with Horne turning provider for Fran Summers to slot home.

Play became gritty with dissent seeing Gemma Trickett leave the field for two minutes.

Moments before half-time and Garstang went to sleep as a defensive free hit went right up the pitch to a Preston player.

She took the ball down the right, into the D, and squared for their forward to finish first time past Alanis Parkinson.

After the break, the Reds saw Summers’ shot hit the keeper’s pads before Preston won a couple of penalty corners, Jen Moss’ low stick save thwarting the first while the second was fired wide.

Garstang went 2-1 up when Di Roe and Trickett combine for Josie Rice to lift the ball into the roof of the net.

It was 3-1 within minutes when Trickett’s reverse lift over the keeper hit a defender on the line and Rice converted the penalty flick.

Preston had possibly their best period of play with Parkinson making two saves and seeing a looping shot hit the crossbar.

Garstang were still hungry for goals, however, and grabbed two more in the final five minutes.

Di Roe’s reversed ball took a deflection off a Preston stick and rolled past the keeper to make it 4-1.

Summers’ was denied when she was one-on-one with the Preston keeper but, with 20 seconds left, Garstang sealed a comfortable victory as Gemma Trickett finished in style.

Elsewhere, the seconds and thirds also had cause for celebration as they reached their respective cup finals.

The seconds’ 5-0 win over Lancaster saw them into the Caley Cup final.

They took an 11th minute lead through Kathryn Watson before Steph Roe doubled the lead in the second half.

Rachel Roe made it 3-0, Georgie Hampson’s neat flick extended their advantage before Holly Hunter completed the scoring.

The thirds reached the Lishman Cup final as one of their best displays of the season brought a 2-0 win over Clitheroe and Blackburn.

After a goalless first half, Garstang took the lead when Mel Gee’s shot was deflected over the keeper.

Victory was secured when Helen Mather fired home from a neatly-worked penalty corner.