Leyland and Chorley ladies 1sts continued their winning start to the season with a 4-2 victory against Longridge 2nds in the Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey Association Division One.
Sarah Winstanley scored a hat-trick with Nicola Wallbank getting the other as the home side put in another impressive show.
The match started at a high tempo, with Longridge’s Kat Wright and Helen Adams quickly put under pressure but the pair used their experience to send the ball out to the wings and back up the field of play.
Wright fell foul of an injury 15 minutes in and it saw her sidelined for the rest of the match.
Coach Rob Alty made smart substitutions – by sending in the double firepower of Becca Halsall and Wallbank, the game soon started to turn into Leyland’s favour.
Alison Rigby made a great interception, and moved the ball on to Halsall.
She carried it half the distance of the pitch before putting in a cross, which was met by Winstanley and a scramble in front of the net to give L&C the lead.
Longridge came back fighting. A defensive error led to a three-on-two situation in front of the L&C goal and Longridge put the ball away in style to level the scoring.
Leyland were back in front before the break when a slick pass from Wallbank saw Winstanley slam the ball home from a few yards out.
Goalkeeper Alison Clewlow produced a fine save in the second half but she was helpless minutes later as Longridge levelled the scoring once again.
But the home side picked up the pace, with good work from Marie Meagher up front forcing more than one penalty corner.
From one of these penalty corner, Wallbank saw a shot saved on the line by a foot.
The officials awarded a penalty flick which Winstanley coolly and expertly converted.
Then with seven minutes left, Wallbank found herself through on goal and she made no mistake lashing a shot into the backboard to round off a fine day.
L&C’s ladies second team lost out 7-4 against Blackpool thirds. Leyland & Chorley conceded early in the game but hit back through Briony Maden.
Blackpool regained the lead and a two more goals saw Leyland slip further behind. In the second half they slipped further adrift as Blackpool bagged another two goals.
Anna Jones and Lisa Evans scored two goals late on but Blackpool had the last laugh as they scored from a short corner.
Leyland and Chorley men ran out 7-5 winners in a thrilling Barrington Sports Division Four North top-of-the-table clash against Warrington.
The hosts took the lead after 15 minutes when a penalty corner was fired in low.
Mark Swann equalised for L&C flicking a shot into the top corner and he grabbed his and his side’s second sooner after.
Warrington equalised in bizarre fashion as Andy Dunn’s clearance rebounded off Ande Wilding’s leg and squirmed into the back of the net.
The second half with Warrington going 3-2 ahead.
Craig Wilson then scored twice for L&C but Warrington were soon 5-4 in front.
Gary Swann equalised then. Keith Gradwell gave L&C a 6-5 lead. Matt Wilson made the game safe with a seventh goal for L&C.
The men’s third team put in a much-improved performance but a solitary goal saw them lose against Blackpool.