Garstang in narrow Trophy exit

Garstang Ladies 2nd XI
Garstang Ladies 2nd XI
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Garstang Ladies 2nd XI crashed out of the Caley Trophy at Longridge.

After missing several players in recent weeks, Garstang were at last near full strength with a full set of substitutes despite the half-term break.

And they made the brighter start with Liz Suddell and 16-year-old Nicky Charter showing off their pace in runs on the ‘D’.

Garstang also fielded several young players, including Ellie Harrison, Lauran and Sophie Whiteside, Gemma Hampson and Jemima Dewhurst to balance the experience of Helen Mather, Caroline Hampson, Nicola Rogerson, Gemma Livesey, Vicky Bradley and Eileen Smith.

The game was played at a fast pace, aided by some excellent umpiring, allowing advantage to be played, and the game flowed from end to end with honours even in the first half.

Both teams had strong defences centred on two capable keepers.

Helen Mather came very close to scoring twice for Garstang in goalmouth scrambles.

And Longridge’s attacks on the break were held by Gemma Hampson, who had a superb game as sweeper, meeting every break away just in front of the ‘D’.

Towards the end of the first half, Hampson made a great chest-height stop and gather of a ball that shot up in the air into the ‘D’ from a Garstang stick.

At the other end, the Longridge keeper was always quick to meet breaks at the head of the ‘D’ and made some good diving foot saves

Garstang won a couple of penalty corners but failed to convert.

After 17 minutes in the second half, Megan Ditchfield made a superb diving save but the ball was deflected to a Longridge player who got past the Garstang defender on the post to make it 1-0 to the home side.

Longridge held out despite some sustained pressure by Garstang and twice nearly got a second goal.

Nevertheless, this was an excellent team performance by Garstang with players supporting one another well and playing good hockey.

Longridge showed strong commitment and made it an excellent game between two evenly balanced sides.