Fylde coast hockey review: Rossall one point from title, Lytham Ladies seal second spot, Blackpool test the champions

Rossall Ladies were crowned Lancashire Central division one hockey  champions with a 7-1 derby win away to Lytham St Annes 2.

Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 4:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th March 2018, 5:00 pm
Rossall Ladies v Lytham St Annes 2 Picture: ROB LOCK

On a day more suited to kite-flying, Rossall needed one point to secure the title at AKS but claimed all three against a host side missing their regular goalkeeper.

Rossall took full advlantage as Alex Holden’s perfect pass was smashed home by Gemma Prestwich for the opening goal.

Tracey Housley was involved in the build-up to that goal and scored the second herself from a short corner, then Sam Evans made it 3-0 after a great run by Debbie Slater.

Housley beat three players before setting up Holden to fire home from the top of the D to make it 4-0 at half-time.

Another fine run by Housley enabled Evans to score a second, as did Prestwich.

That goal was set up by Jill Perkes Wilson, and Evans returned the compliment by supplying her with a great pass for the final goal.

Lytham’s consolation goal from a short corner mattered little as Rossall prepare for the premier division.

Lytham St Annes Ladies’ senior side secured second place in North Hockey division two with a 3-0 win at Clitheroe and Blackburn in their final match – the highest league position ever achieved by the club.

Their main target had been to avoid relegation in a season which saw 12 teenagers integrated into the squad.

Lytham were fast out of the blocks and won several penalty corners but could not break the deadlock before half-time.

They dominated the second half to score three goals and crown a season which was all about whole team..

Blackpool Ladies’ first team ended their season at Stanley Park in style with a 2-1 win over Clitheroe and Blackburn 3 in their final home fixture.

A goal in each half from Annabelle Counsil sealed the win which keeps Blackpool third in Lancashire Central division two.

In a closely-fought first half, Chloe Mallinson’s smart cross enabled Counsil to give the hosts a half-time lead.

Blackpool continued to make light of the freezing conditions as Annabelle added a second from Katie Ansell’s pass.

Blackburn pulled a goal back and were unlucky not to equalise with a penalty.

Blackpool’s remaining match away to Lancaster 3 on April 8 will determine which of the two sides finishes third.

Lytham St Annes Men looked to bounce back from consecutive away defeats at home to North division two title-chasers Windermere.

They started well at AKS and soaked up pressure, but the visitors took the lead with a deflected shot into the roof of the net.

Lytham continued to cause problems for the Windermere defence and equalised with Matt Shawcross’ flick from a short corner.

This boosted Lytham’s confidence and they took the lead when the ball fell to Shawcross from another short corner. His half-volley found the top corner for his 30th goal of the season.

The second half was played with an orange ball after heavy snowfall. Second-placed Windermere had the better chances and more possession but it needed a controversial penalty corner late in the half for them to equalise.

Keeper and man of the match Adam Dixon kept Windermere at bay to secure a point that could be vital for Lytham, who are now in the bottom three. Their final match is at home to bottom club Oxton 2 on April 7.

It may have been a meaningless game but it was one of the more enjoyable for relegated Blackpool Men as they visited North West division one champions Knutsford and lost 5-4.

A goal from Jordan Payne on the break put Blackpool ahead after 15 minutes but Knutsford equalised just as the snow began to fall heavily.

Both sides struggled to string passes together in the difficult conditions but Simon Thomas restored Blackpool’s lead just before half-time.

Knutsford equalised early in the second half but an upset was on the cards again as Paul Atherton deflected home his first goal of the season.

The snow returned worse than before but it was agreed to play on and Knutsford equalised for the third time from a penalty corner.

Two more home goals looked to have sealed the win, including a beauty of a strike into the roof of the net.

Payne gave Blackpool a glimmer with his second goal but Knutsford held on in the final five minutes. Blackpool complete their season away to Neston 2 on Saturday.

Liverpool University 2 could only muster 10 players for Blackpool 2’s penultimate match in North West four north but still left Stanley Park with a 5-0 win.

The hosts were unable to score despite featuring two of the club’s all-time top scorers in Dave Morgan and Martin Hayes and creating numerous chances. Relegated Blackpool’s last chance of a win this season will be at Warrington on Sunday.