Leyland & Chorley ladies are on cloud nine

Unbeaten champions Leyland and Chorley ladies' 1sts ended the season on a high with a 9-0 victory over Blackpool 1sts.
Nicola Wallbank for LeylandNicola Wallbank for Leyland
Nicola Wallbank for Leyland

The Reds, who had already clinched the Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey League Premier Division title, put Blackpool under immediate pressure and soon opened the scoring from a penalty flick.

Nicola Wallbank pounced on a rebounded shot from Sarah Winstanley, but the keeper lay on top of the ball and the umpire awarded a flick in the eighth minute, that Winstanley fired home.

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Before long the Reds were on the attack again. Becca Halsall passed the ball from the baseline into the top of the D for Wallbank to sweep the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

Another attack began with Louise Hutchinson running on the right-hand line, before passing the ball square into the D for Winstanley to slam home.

L&C kept coming back for more, and Marie Meagher got the ball at the top of the D to smash the ball past the keeper to make it 4-0.

The second half started with Blackpool having the push. They came out fighting, but great defensive work from Rachel Hindley and Kirstie Taylor kept Blackpool out.

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L&C countered and the ball was fielded down the right, where Hutchinson picked it up, before passing off to Raelene Strickland.

She skilfully danced past two Blackpool defenders before slotting the ball into the back of the net.

Wallbank then picked up the ball from Meagher in the middle of the park before driving to the baseline and cutting the ball back for Winstanley to make it six. Then Yasmin Mae fed the ball through to Hutchinson, who slipped in Strickland to tee-up captain Sarah King, who made it 7-0.

It was not long before the Reds were back in Blackpool’s D again, for King to place the ball along the D to the back post, for Strickland to bag the eighth.

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Blackpool started the game again with a counter attack, as Leyland were playing without a keeper to give Alison Hunt goal-hunting time up front.

The defence kept everything under control for Leyland to flip the counter and attack again. With Mae picking up the ball at the halfway line and running it deep into Blackpool’s 25, Leyland applied the pressure in the D, with some link-up play from Hunt, before Strickland sealed the deal with the ninth goal.

LCWHL Division Three champions Leyland and Chorley ladies 2nds finished the season with a 4-0 win over Longridge 3rds.

L&C ladies 3rds ended the season with a 2-2 draw and finished seventh.

Leyland men’s 1sts finished the season fifth in the North West Hockey League Division Three North table.