Hockey: Lancaster 1s go top of play-off group after win over Stokesley

Lancaster 1s in action against Stokesley.
Lancaster 1s in action against Stokesley.

North West Division 2 winners Lancaster 1s moved a step closer to promotion after producing a spirited comeback to beat North East Division 2 winners Stokesley at the weekend.

Lancaster started the game with a high press which caught Stokesley off guard and Nat Clark and Ali Standeven were forcing the turnover ball high up the pitch.

Nicola Conway was her usual tenacious self and when she won the ball in the D, she worked herself an opening before firing the ball past the keeper.

One goal up, Lancaster kept pushing forward but a quick turnover saw Stokesley play a dangerous aerial ball towards Lancaster’s D which found their striker and she converted well.

Ten minutes later Stokesley took the lead through a penalty stroke when their striker was adjudged to have been fouled in the D.

Trailing 2-1 going into the break Lancaster knew they were still in this game.

In the second half. with 15 minutes to go Cath Foy made a fantastic run through the middle and found Hayley Johns high in the D – she made no mistake with a composed finish past the keeper.

Lancaster kept pressing forwards and five minutes later the comeback was complete – after another fantastic run by Foy, she squared the ball into the D and again Johns was on hand to push it home at the far post.

Standeven made a reckless challenge late on, resulting in another penalty stroke, but Leighan Bleasdale made a fantastic save to her right to as Lancaster held onto their lead and moved top of the play-off table.

lGarstang Ladies Hockey Club’s seconds retained the Caley Cup with a 2-0 victory against their Longridge counterparts at Preston last weekend.

Five minutes into the second half, Grace McGarvey made a clear break with Megan Coar, who went one-on-one with the keeper.

Although her raised shot was blocked, Coar followed in and, as the keeper rolled over, she neatly lifted the ball into the net to open the scoring.

Another strong break from McGarvey saw Coar shoot across goal, only for the ball to slide past the target.

A Garstang penalty corner saw Katherine Watson’s shot miss the intended deflection into the goal before a green card for a Garstang defender saw Longridge win a repeated penalty corner, ending with Higginson’s powerful kick clearing the ball. A Longridge penalty corner saw another good save from Higginson clear the danger before Garstang doubled their lead on 27 minutes.

Gee’s pass saw McGarvey one-on-one with the keeper and, with great skill and a calm presence of mind, she caught out the keeper and lifted the ball into the net to make it 2-0.