Hockey: Brilliant Lancaster claim title after superb win over Leyland
Lancaster 1s powered their way to a resounding 5-0 win against Leyland on Sunday to win the league title with three games left to play.
Lancaster attacked from the off with player of the match, Hayley Johns, working the ball forwards, through the middle towards the strikers winning penalty corners, but they just couldn’t make them count.
Lancaster weren’t deterred though and continued to press high with Nat Clark and Julie Walker working hard upfront pressing Leyland’s defence.
An early injury to Cath Foy meant a quick reshuffle but Lancaster responded well and after 20 minutes they got the all-important breakthrough when Holly Farquharson found some room on the right of the D and smashed the ball into the far corner.
Lancaster visibly relaxed after this goal and soon got into their groove with debutant Jo Higgs flying down the left, firing some great balls into the D.
With one ball she found Nicola Conway, who in turn found Walker who found the back of the net from close range.
Lancaster made it three just before half time from a penalty corner, which Conway fired across the D and Jayde Christeansen deflected in diving in at the far post.
In the second half Leyland came out fast and attacked hard, winning penalty corners which Johns closed down and Heather Andrew cleared to safety.
Both teams were flying up and down the pitch and Bleasdale stood firm to keep her clean sheet intact.
Clark worked the ball into the D, winning a penalty corner, which Conway dispatched with aplomb.
Only five minutes later Ali Standeven drove the ball into the D winning another penalty corner which Conway scored again with a carbon copy goal.
With 10 minutes to go Lancaster started to tire but Jess Burrows kept them going, working hard through the middle winning a number of 50-50 challenges.
At the final whistle Lancaster were ecstatic as they clinched the league title.
lLancaster 1s had gone seven points clear with a fantastic 2-0 home win over second placed Lytham on Saturday.
Lancaster started a little slowly and Lytham put them on the back foot early on but goalkeeper Bleasdale stayed strong to deny the visitors.
After a great run from Nina Helme she found Standeven in the D who took the ball round the keeper but took it too wide for the shot.
She managed to loop it back around and squared it to Walker who made no mistake from five yards out.
Lancaster were now on the front foot and not long after, Nicola Conway made it two – she pressed high and robbed the ball off the last defender before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the far corner.
In the second half the game became a little scrappy as both sides became a little agitated and cards were shown, but Lancaster held on to win.