Most of the ladies’ hockey leagues resumed last weekend, though the mid-season break lasts another week for the men.
Lytham St Annes Ladies returned to action with a 2-2 draw away to Liverpool Sefton 2 in division two north west.
The hosts made a fast start but LSA soon found their feet and took the lead when Georgia Perkins was well placed to finish a slick penalty corner routine.
Sefton came back strongly but LSA threatened to double their lead, with Gabby Little a threat in front of goal.
The home side equalised from a quick break up the middle but LSA were soon back on the attack and Heidi Whitehead went very close.
The lead was regained from skilful play down the right as a strong run by Grace Webster was finished by Tasha Webster.
But to LSA’s frustration they could not hold on for victory as a scramble in their goalmouth ended with the ball creeping over the line.
LSA slipped a place to fourth and were deflated at settling for a point but determined to come back fighting.
LSA 2 started the year in the same way they had ended 2018 five weeks previously, with a goalless draw.
This one was in a derby away to Fylde 4 in Lancashire Central division one, a match played in an icy wind.
LSA had won the teams’ previous encounter 6-0 but found their opponents much improved.
The Lytham side put into practice the passing and short corner drills they had worked on but couldn’t break through, although both sides had chances.
In an end-to-end second half, LSA battled on despite injuries in a game of far higher quality than the scoreline may suggest.
Second-placed LSA are now two points behind Southport but have two games in hand.
LSA3 started ther year with a 7-0 defeat away to their Clitheroe and Blackburn Northern counterparts in LC division two.
The hosts scored early and were three up at half-time, though Jess Mason threatened.
Clitheroe again scored quickly after the restart and LSA heads began to drop.
Lara Pilling made some top tackles and there were superb saves from Anna Filipo but there was no way back for LSA.
Fylde Hockey Club’s senior side don’t resume action until next month, though Fylde Ladies’ 2 strengthened their grip on top spot in Division two North West with a 10-0 Mill Farm win over South Lakes. There were two goals apiece for Dawn Child and Cathy Fewson, with Sally Livesey, Hannah Ferguson, Becky Ingram, Lisa Swaine, Kirsten Abbott and Libby Aitcheson also scoring
The other three Fylde teams were also a home, dusting off the cobwebs after a month out of action. Fylde 3 lost 2-0 to an experienced Pendle Forest 2 side. Amy Merrick was in outstanding form but Pendle took the points with a goal in each half.
Fylde 4 played out a goalless draw with LSA 2 (see above) and Fylde 5 lost to the only goal against Longridge 3 in Lancashire Central division two. The hosts had more of the play but could not break through an experienced defence.
Rossall Ladies returned to action after a six-week break with two games in two days in the Lancashire Central premier division.
Lancaster 2 soon took the lead in the first of those fixtures but Rossall equalised when Sam Evans fired into the corner from Tracey Housley’s superb crossfield ball.
Goalkeeper Sandra Wood played among the outfielders and couldn’t quite connect with another Housley pass from the right as the half ended at 1-1. Again Rossall fell behind to a breakaway goal early in the second half and Lancaster made it 3-1 as Rossall pushed forward.
Rossall pulled one back when Debbie Slater lifted a shot over the keeper from Samantha Wilde’s corner but couldn’t force an equaliser.
The Fleetwood side had no answer to league leaders Lancaster and Morecambe 24 hours later, beaten 6-1 at Rossall.