Fylde coast hockey review: Blackpool, LSA, Rossall, Garstang
Blackpool Men's promotion hopes in North West Division One were hit by a 2-0 defaet by leaders Keswick.
They had only 11 players but more than held their own in the opening exchanges.
Keswick dominated possession but failed to make inroads against the resolute defence marshalled by Rob Abbott and the returning Ben Mortimer.
Blackpool had the better chances as Jordan Payne went close, Dave Morgan was denied by the in-form keeper and Rob Dingle saw an effort blocked on the line.
Keswick had chances of their own but Ian Swaine deflected a penalty corner away as the first half ended goalless.
The second half was scrappier, though Steve Whitley had a shot charged down at the top of the area.
Blackpool were incensed when Keswick were awarded a penalty stroke five minutes after Jordan Payne had a claim for one waved away after a strong challenge by the keeper.
The visitors picked themselves up for the final 15 minutes, but although Josh Payne went close they had salt rubbed into their wounds when Keswick added a controversial second goal.
Blackpool credited Keswick for their humility in victory.
There was revenge for Blackpool in the second team fixture between the clubs, a 2-1 away win lifting them to fourth in division four north.
Blackpool took the lead when Sam Robinson scored at the second attempt, calmly flicking the ball over the keeper after his initial shot was blocked.
Graeme Kilshaw made an important save at close range to maintain Blackpool’s lead until half-time.
Keswick caused problems from the restart but Matt Atherton’s break resulted in Robinson tapping home his second from Chris Hocking’s cross.
Blackpool looked to be in control but a Keswick shot went in off the post to set up a tense final few minutes.
Man of the match Graeme Kilshaw kept out a penalty corner to clinch a fitting victory in captain Niall Bancroft’s final game before heading off on his travels.
Lytham Ladies were jubilant after three wins and a draw but were brought down to earth with an 8-0 home defeat by leaders Pendle Forest.
Pendle are a force to be reckoned with, having won this division several times.
They scored their first with a superb shot and further goals followed, though Lytham in no way disgraced themselves and team spirit was high.
Lytham had a few chances but Pendle’s keeper kept out their best efforts, while Lytham keeper Hannah Shore was their player of the match after some outstanding saves.
Lytham 2 were also beaten at home, 3-0 by Garstang 2. A young Garstang team took an early lead as Katherine Watson smashed the ball home from the top of the D.
Garstang doubled their lead when Summer Muirhead fired home from Steph Roe’s pinpoint cross. Then 13-year-old Grace Garvey calmly scored her first for the team after good work by Watson and Hannah Crawshay.
Hunter twice went close, though Lytham’s Lauren Lockhart made some amazing saves to keep Garstang from adding to their tally before half-time.
The home side were much improved in the second half, though neither side would find the net.
Lytham 3 remain top of division three despite losing for only the second time, 3-2 at Southport 2.
The visitors played some excellent hockey as Lauren Gibbons and Tasha Webster scored fine goals.
But Southport managed to go one better and held their lead, despite Lytham attacking fiercely at the end.
Blackpool Ladies surprised Windermere with their strong start but the Lancashire Central division one leaders hit back to win 2-0 at Stanley Park, scoring late in each half.
Sandra Wood made some excellent saves for Blackpool, while Beckie Vale and Amy Barrow were outstanding in defence and player of the match Kandy Cardwell linked up well with Emma Gilfoyle and Amy Partington in attack. n Second-placed
Garstang Ladies were 3-0 winners over South Lakes in a top v bottom match in North Division Two.
The home side scored twice in five minutes as Kiery Horne played in first Gemma Trickett and then Reb Worthington, who scored despite two defenders on the line.
It remained 2-0 until half-time as stand-in keeper Lisa Richardson made a smart save. In a flat second half, Worthington was unable to convert Di Roe’s cross but did play a large part in the third goal, her strike helped over the line by Horne for her fifth in two games.
Rossall Ladies started 2017 with a good performance to beat Witton Warriors 2-0 and stay second in Lancashire Central division one.
Dominant from the start, the home side were denied by some excellent saves in a goalless first half.
A change of shape paid off with 15 minutes remaining, when Alex Holden drew the keeper and passed for Elizabeth Hall to fire home.
Player of the match Sam Evans ran on to Sam Wilde’s first time pass to smash in the second.
Lytham Men played out a 2-2 draw away to Oxton 2 in North Two West.
A youthful, pacy and skilful home side struggled to break down the Lytham defence until they finally made their pressure count.
Lytham won a penalty corner from a Matt Shawcross drag-flick and he made no mistake from his next attempt, slotting the ball into the top right corner.
Lytham then held their own in midfield until Oxton broke the deadlock again.
Rash challenges resulted in an injury to Shawcross and cards for two Oxton players.
They didn’t learn their lesson as Taylor was brought down and captain Will Stone scored his first of the season with the penalty stroke.
Lytham battled but couldn’t force the win, while at the other end, goal-line stops from Neil Mallalieu and Stone and some saves by keeper Andrew Dixon kept the scores level.
LSA 3 also drew, 1-1 at South Lakes 2 in North West five north north.
LSA started well, controlling possession and passing well as Richard Isherwood showed good game-management, but the hosts came back into the game and the first half ended scoreless.
South Lakes took the lead at the start of the second half but this spurred LSA one
The home keeper kept them at bay until Dave Gee took Simon Long’s pass and rounded the keeper to equalise with 10 minutes remaining. They then pounded the Lakes goal but couldn’t force a winner.