Pendle Forest suffered North Hockey Women’s League Division 1 play-off heartbreak for the second-successive season as they lost 2-1 to Newcastle at Weetwood in Leeds on Saturday.
A draw or victory would have seen Forest promoted from the four-team round-robin group, but a second defeat in their three play-off games saw them finish bottom of the table, havintg missed out in third place last year.
Newcastle’s win also proved in vain as Leeds Adel – who Forest beat 5-3 last week – claimed the second promotion place on goals scored, with Alderley Edge topping the table.
Forest were not at their best in the first half in Leeds and found themselves 1-0 down to a goal from a short corner, and struggling to come to terms with a bouncy water-based pitch which was somewhat alien to them.
Forest fought back, and 10 minutes into the second half the equaliser came when a Lisa Crewe strike was converted by Kayleigh Vickers.
Forest began to take greater control of the game, and strong runs by Olivia and Freya Bythell gained penalty corners, while good work in the D by captain Cathy Waters and Karen Nuttall left the Newcastle keeper having to make some crucial saves.
In the final 10 mins and Newcastle had breakaway chances of their own, and Foresst were delivered a bitter blow as the umpire deemed a tackle unsatisfactory by defender Jan Cormack, which saw her sinbinned for six mins and allowed Newcastle to put away a controvertial penalty.
Forest poured everything into the game but could not find an equaliser, failing to convert a penalty corner in the dying seconds.