Garstang close to title after Di double

Di Roe was in sparkling form, scoring twice for Garstang 1sts

Di Roe was in sparkling form, scoring twice for Garstang 1sts

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Garstang Ladies Hockey Club 1sts had to come from behind to win 5-2 at Clitheroe and Blackburn 2nds.

Inside two minutes, the Reds were rudely awakened when Clitheroe caught the defence out of place and a well-worked move across Sarah Skelton in goal ended with a good reverse-stick shot giving the hosts the lead.

Garstang stormed back and some excellent passing work ended with a penalty corner. Fran Summers made an excellent flick from the top of the D and the scores were level.

Summers on the left and Di Roe on the right were constantly threatening the Clitheroe D. In the 10th minute, Nicky Oddie pulled her calf muscle so badly she could take no further part.

Summers made a good break and a reverse-stick pass to Catherine Godbold saw her outflank the Clitheroe keeper and make it 2-1.

The midfield engine room of Josie Rice, Lyndsey Hayes and Jude Chapman were supplying the Garstang forwards well.

But Clitheroe were always a potent threat on the break and Donna Richardson had to be alert at the back.

Inevitably, Garstang’s pressure and possession told and after 19 minutes Godbold made a good break and passed across the keeper for an on-fire Roe to open her account.

Georgie Hampson came on and added her pace in midfield.

After 23 minutes, the Clitheroe keeper made a great save, stopping Godbold’s effort with a diving block in front of goal.

Almost immediately Garstang won a corner and a superb raised but legal strike by Roe made a resounding thump on the back board for her second goal, and the score was 4-1.

Spirited Clitheroe hit back after a penalty corner and Skelton was beaten by a good shot close to her post.

The second half started with Garstang bombarding the Clitheroe goal for five minutes. Clitheroe’s keeper made five superb diving ground under intense pressure.

Captain Lindsay Thornhill lost the ball at the top of the D but redeemed herself with a great along-the-line clearance at a Clitheroe penalty corner moments later.

Clitheroe won another penalty corner and Vicky Bradley cleared well.

Godbold made a good break to relieve the pressure and Garstang won a penalty corner.

A superb move from a slip right ended with Godbold just putting the ball wide of an open goal.

Rice came storming back in attack and helped win another Garstang penalty corner.

From a well-drilled move, Rice was perfectly placed to deflect the ball in to score and make it 5-2 to the visitors.

The game became end to end, with Richardson containing the powerful Clitheroe forwards and a series of superb diving saves by Skelton and the Clitheroe keeper.

Roe made a great steal and, running the length of the pitch, was only just stopped from scoring by the keeper’s outstretched toe. 

Clitheroe won a penalty corner and Skelton made another great diving save.

Then Roe again went close before the game fizzled out to leave an undefeated Garstang 11 points clear at the top of the Premier Division with five games to go.