Pendle Forest thrashed Northern 7-1 as Charlotte Hartley and Lisa Crewe both scored hat-tricks to enhance their North Hockey Women’s League Division 2 North West title hopes.
Forest pressed forward from the whistle, finding their way into the final attacking quarter, but struggled to score.
Clearing the ball well, Northern showed their own attacking play by sending long balls into the Forest defence, but leaving themselves isolated and without answers.
Forest’s first goal came when Hartley powered the ball forward following a call from Crewe, whose perfectly-timed move put Forest 1-0 up.
Shortly after, a reverse stick sweep from Crewe made it 2-0, and close to half-time a Northern shot on goal sent keeper Laura Kendall sprawling, and her super quick relflexes cleared the lines and kept them at bay until the whistle.
Early in the second half, Northern forced a penalty corner, and with a top of the D strike, they managed to find a crack in the otherwise solid Forest defence.
Forest went up a gear, and, spreading the ball around the back with confidence, they opened up opportunities.
Hartley scored the third and fourth goals, with a solo effort down the centre of the pitch, then a strong sweep past the keeper. Pivotal play from player of the match Deb Bythell in the centre helped spread the ball and push Forest forward, aided by Kayleigh Vickers, finding herself in an attacking position, managing to sweep the ball over the line.
Finally Crewe sealed her hat-trick when she chipped the ball over the keeper, moments after assisting Hartley in a one-two, allowing Hartley to also earn her hat-trick.
The first team have a double header this weekend, hosting Preston tomorrow at 11-30 a.m. and Springfields on Sunday at 1-30 p.m.