Hockey: Lancaster held by York

Lancaster Hockey Club's Fiona Crackles has been selected for the England Under 16 squad.
Lancaster Hockey Club's Fiona Crackles has been selected for the England Under 16 squad.

Lancaster Hockey Club’s first team drew 1-1 in their war of the roses with City of York 1s on Saturday.

The hosts, bottom of the table, began the North Hockey Women’s League Premier Division clash on the front foot with York struggling to cope with the pace of Becca Airey and Annie Park.

The opening goal was set up by Lancaster captain Ali Standeven who drove into the D to win a penalty corner which Nicola Benson fired home on her return to their side.

The city side went in search of a second goal having won just one league game all season.

Julie Walker put York’s defence under pressure as the visitors resorted to playing the long ball which Katie Benter and Mollie Harrison coped with well in defence.

Laura Hayton, Nina Swarbrick and Holly Farquharson remained strong in their defensive roles but one York attack did get in behind the home defence as the visitors levelled things up before the break.

Lancaster continued with their attacking play, some fantastic interchange passing allowing them to gain a lot of ground and have a lot of possession, but unfortunately there was no end product in the D.

With a quarter of the match to go York began piling on the pressure themselves gaining a succession of penalty corners.

But Lancaster stood firm and goalkeeper Leighan Bleasdale made some fantastic saves to keep the scores level.

The hosts had some good chances to snatch victory themselves but it wasn’t to be as they picked up an important point.

Lancaster’s second team lost 5-0 at Liverpool Sefton Ladies 2s as like the first team, they remain bottom of their division, the North Hockey Women’s League Division 2 North West.

There was better fortunes for the fourth team on Saturday however as they won their derby 7-2 at Lancaster & Morecambe Ladies 3s to keep pace in the Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey Association Division Three promotion race.

Morecambe started the stronger but Lancaster hit back to go into half-time with a 5-1 lead with goal scorers Beth Fletcher, Emily Verden and Sam Taylor giving everything to get the ball over the line.

The hosts pulled one back as Lancaster took their foot off the gas but the nerves were short lived as Morecambe were kept at bay.

Player of the match Katie Lindsay starred as Lancaster made sure of victory with two more goals.

lLancaster Hockey Club’s first-team starlet Fiona Crackles has been selected for the England Under 16 squad.

Selection is the highest honour for a junior hockey player with Fiona performing well enough for her club and the National Age Group Squad to be selected in the age group above her own.