Gary is star of L&C thriller

Gary Swann got the winner
Gary Swann got the winner
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Gary Swann’s late goal sealed Leyland and Chorley men’s 1sts’ fightback as they triumphed 5-4 against Lancaster and Morecambe Hockey Club at home.

The Reds let a two-goal lead slip away but ensured they retained their place at the top of the Division Four North table with a last-gasp goal.

Leyland started brightly and were ahead after five minutes. Simon Myers fired the ball into the D and drew a foul.

The umpire awarded a penalty flick and Mark Swann expertly dispatched it to the keeper’s right.

The hosts’ lead was short-lived as a long aerial ball from the re-start found a Lancaster attacker in space and he smashed the ball past Leyland keeper Andy Wielding.

Gary Swann pounced on a penalty corner and his strike was blocked on the line by an illegal Lancaster foot and the umpire awarded the hosts another penalty flick.

Mark Collier fired the resulting set-piece beyond the helpless keeper into the net.

Leyland soon added a third as James Gallagher came up from the back to fire home from another short corner.

The hosts looked comfortable but a poorly executed Lancaster short corner bamboozled the defence and ended up in the back of the net.

But Leyland reacted well and Matt Wilson put the ball on a foot in the D to win yet another penalty corner.

And Mark Swann fired another well-placed flick into the net to give the hosts a 4-2 lead at the break.

Leyland started the second 45 minutes well and Myers set up forwards Craig Wilson and Mark Collier with a simple chance.

But the umpires decided the play should be returned to the halfway line and the goal was chalked off. The call rocked Leyland’s composure and two quick goals from Lancaster brought the scores level.

With their 100% home record at risk Leyland managed to launch one last fight back and Gary Swann deflected the ball into the net to clinch a 5-4 victory.