Seconds out – the final beckons for Lytham
Lytham Ladies are through to hockey’s Caley Trophy final, though the club’s place in the showpiece was assured even before the semis had been played.
That’s because Lytham were drawn against their own Second team and won 5-3.
The seconds were determined to prove a point, though, and led three times in the first half.
Courtney Spector opened the scoring, set up by Gilly Shields.
Sophia Crawshay looked like doubling the lead but Jane Evans made a superb diving save.
Charlotte Evans equalised for the first team, assisted by Amy Horrocks, only for Crawshay to break clear and restore the seconds’ lead.
First team captain Danielle Bamber equalised from Bronte Edgar’s cross only for Shields to make it 3-2 at half-time with a thunderous strike into the corner.
Natasha Singleton’s skill was rewarded with another equaliser shortly after the restart, despite good defending from Lorna Leach and Abi Eagles.
Eleni Cullen made some superb saves and Nina Sethi worked hard to keep the first team at bay, though they clinched victory in the final ten minutes.
Bamber scored her second from a short corner, then Edgar showed her speed to seal the win. Heidi Williams was player of the match for the seconds.
Lytham will play Garstang in the final on March 31.
n Blackpool Men went down 3-2 to Lymm at Stanley Park as they began a series of crunch games against their North West division three promotion rivals.
Lymm started the stronger in their bid to avenge a defeat this season, with Nick Rainbow forced into several key saves and Pete Latimer making another goal-line clearance.
Blackpool passed poorly in the first half, forcing only one short corner, and trailed 1-0 at the interval.
Lymm continued to look dangerous and doubled their lead before Blackpool’s James Slater fed Dave Morgan – the league’s top scorer – for his 31st of the season.
However, their hopes of a comeback were thwarted when Lymm scored their third from a deflected free-hit.
Ian Swaine netted Blackpool’s second with a reverse sweep after the keeper had parried Kieran Harris’ cross.
However, third-placed Lymm are now three points above Blackpool, who may well need other results to go their way even if they win their final five games.
Blackpool Seconds won their derby with Lytham St Annes Fourths 3-1 to remain second in division seven north . The visitors went two up, through captain Simon Allen and Matt Atherton, despite Doug Green’s staunch defensive work.
Rob Davies pulled one back for Lytham, though Blackpool secured victory with a goal by the skilful Chris Hocking.
Blackpool Thirds lost 5-3 to a disciplined Southport Badgers as Josh Hughes scored his first goal for the club between two Nathan Woodman strikes
Blackpool’s Beavers (under-13s) were impressive in beating their Preston counterparts 6-3. Owen Williams netted four, with Lucas Higginson and Ciaran Johnson also scoring.
n Lytham Men recorded a 2-2 draw at Didsbury Northern, while the seconds consolidated third place in North West division four with a 4-1 home success against Bolton Seconds.
Battling LSA Thirds paid for their mistakes in division six north, losing 3-2 to Prescot Seconds.
Trailing 2-1 at half-time, LSA fell further behind before Mallieux reduced the deficit.
Tom Lees had a goal disallowed, while Lewis Gannon made a promising debut.
n Blackpool Ladies’ losing run continued in the Lancashire Central premier division with a 4 2 home defeat by Clitheroe Seconds.
Blackpool dominated the first half and led 2-0 through their player of the game Kandy Cardwell and Lauren Burrell.
Clitheroe pulled one back shortly before half-time and took their momentum into the second period, adding two quick goals.
Blackpool piled on the pressure but could not break through and Clitheroe sealed victory with a fourth goal.