Super Sarah leads way in another impressive win

Leyland and Chorley Women's Hockey  Sarah Winstanley
Leyland and Chorley Women's Hockey Sarah Winstanley

Leyland and Chorley Ladies showed no rust on the pitch as they held off the stern test of Longridge seconds.

The side had no fixture the previous week but they continued their winning start to the season with a 4-2 victory in the Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey Association Division One.

Sarah Winstanley scored a hat-trick with Nicola Wallbank scoring the other as the home side put in another impressive performance.

The match started at a very high tempo, with Longridge demonstrating why they came third in the division the previous season.

Kat Wright and Helen Adams were quickly put under pressure, but the pair used their experience to send the ball out to the wings and back up the field of play.

Wright fell foul of an injury 15 minutes in and it saw her sidelined for the rest of the match.

Coach Rob Alty made smart substitutions – by sending in the double firepower of Becca Halsall and Wallbank, the game soon started to turn into Leyland’s favour.

Alison Rigby made a great interception, and moved the ball on to Halsall.

She carried it half the distance of the pitch before putting in a goalmouth cross, which was met by Winstanley and a scramble in front of the net to give Leyland & Chorley the lead.

Longridge were not disheartened and came back fighting.

A defensive error led to a three-on-two situation in front of the L&C goal and Longridge put the ball away in style to level the scoring.

L&C’s determination was put to the test and just before the break they met that test by regaining the lead.

Another slick pass from Wallbank saw Winstanley slam the ball home from a few yards out.

Goalkeeper Alison Clewlow produced a fine save in the second half but she was helpless minutes later as Longridge levelled the scoring once again.

But the home side picked up the pace, with good work from Marie Meagher up front forcing more than one penalty corner.

From one of these penalty corner, Wallbank saw a shot saved on the line by a foot.

The officials awarded a penalty flick which Winstanley coolly and expertly converted.

Then with seven minutes left, Wallbank found herself through on goal and she made no mistake lashing a shot into the backboard to round off a fine day at the office.

n The Ladies second team lost out 7-4 against Blackpool thirds.

Leyland & Chorley conceded early in the game but hit back through Briony Maden.

Blackpool regained the lead despite goalkeeper Claire Musgrave’s best efforts a shot snuck past her.

A further two goals saw Leyland slip further behind but unfortunately in the second half they slipped further behind as Blackpool bagged another two goals.

Anna Jones and Lisa Evans scored two goals late on but Blackpool had the last laugh,as they scored from a short corner late on.

n The men’s third team put in a much-improved performance but a solitary goal saw them lose against Blackpool.

It could have been so different had a penalty flick been converted.

Stand-in captain Matt Evans powerful shot from a short corner was illegally stopped and he stepped up to take the resulting penalty but he could only fire wide.

Blackpool took advantage and held on to seal the points.