Roe rallies Garstang

Diane Roe (in red) put Garstang ladies on the attack

Diane Roe (in red) put Garstang ladies on the attack

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Garstang ladies 1sts rallied to draw 1-1 with Pendle 1sts at home and earn their first point of 2014.

Struggling Garstang matched Pendle and could have beaten the visitors who lie second in the Division Two North West Ladies hockey league.

But Garstang ended their poor form of four losses on the bounce as coach David Gee’s reorganisation of the team paid off.

For the first few minutes the Reds were on the defensive with Pendle pressing hard.

But after five minutes Diane Roe seized the initiative and made a strong attack up the left, winning the first of 10 penalty corners for the home side.

The shot was dealt with by the opposition keeper but Pendle headed straight up the other end and in the seventh minute, defender Vicky Bradley had to make a crucial clearance.

Fran Summers made a superb solo run from her own half and drove into Pendle’s D to earn a penalty corner.

Minutes later Pendle won their first short corner and Sarah Skelton in the Garstang goal was forced to make a diving save.

Garstang won their third penalty corner after 17 minutes and Pendle’s keeper just managed to deflect a strong shot away from goal.

Roe wove her way into the opposition D but she was thwarted by a last-gasp challenge from a Pendle defender.

But a few minutes later the referee sent a Josephine Rice to the sin-bin for five minutes.

Skelton came storming out of her goal to make a tremendous interception and cleared the threat. 

With less than a minute to go until half-time Garstang’s pressure paid off as Roe and Summers combined to open the scoring.

Summers’ initial shot hit the post but the ever-present Lyndsey Hayes was on hand to latch onto the rebound and smack the ball into the back of the net.

Garstang started the second half strongly, winning a penalty corner within the opening two minutes, but the Pendle keeper stretched to divert the shot away from goal.

Garstang captain Lyndsey Norton stole the ball from Pendle and launched a counter-attack.

But her teasing run could not double the lead.

Pendle immediately broke back up the field and smacked a shot at Skelton – the keeper could not clear the ball and Pendle pounced on the loose ball and a weak shot trickled over the line.

Garstang nearly regained their lead when a skilled drag-flick from Summers was just pushed away by the Pendle keeper.

A fierce strike from Alice Matthews was saved by the in-form shot-stopper as Roe’s incursions troubled Pendle’s defence.

In the defence, Donna Richardson made some superb clearances up the field as she fought off the visitors threat.

Pendle threw bodies forward and won another penalty corner that nearly resulted in a winner.

The ball hit a Garstang foot in front of goal and a penalty flick was awarded but Pendle sent the flick wide.

In the closing stages the visitors won a string of penalty corners but Garstang held on for a point.

Meanwhile, Garstang ladies 2nds were beaten 4-1 at home by Springfields 3rds.

A great run from Olivia Mason set Julie Nightingale free to bag the hosts’ only goal.