Pendle Forest thirds saw out the league season in style with a thumping 7-1 victory over Springfields fourths, and will be promoted as Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey League Division 2 runners-up.
Forest started steadily and passed the ball well, but were lacklustre at times, allowing Springs to intercept.
Despite getting in the D several times, Forest couldn’t find the killer finish to put them ahead, due to superb Springs defending.
Springs that took the initiative – a solo run from their centre forward sold Forest’s defender Rosie Southworth, a dummy, and she cruised into the D for a tap in.
Manager George Lonsdale, was swift to make changes, and he introduced seasoned striker Claire Birkett to the forward line. Birkett was on the scoresheet in seconds after great work down the right from 13-year-old Rebecca Wood. Wood passed inside to Cath Hutchinson, who selflessly played Birkett in for a simple tap in.
Hutchinson again who provided the pass that got Birkett her second, before Hannah Tofalos pushed high to set up Birkett for her hat-trick.
Forest had further chances, as did Springfields, but it remained 3-1 at half time.
Forest rolled their substitutes on and off throughout the second half, giving players the opportunity to try different roles on the pitch.
Southworth was pushed up front and combined well with Hutchinson and Rachel Bradley. Bradley played a square ball for Southworth, who struck well to score her first, followed minutes later by her second, much to the delight of her manager.
Hutchinson’s persistence paid off as she nicked a tap in at the far post to put Forest 6-1 up, before Rachel Bradley jinked her way through the defence to notch up the seventh and final goal.
Player of the match was Wood.
The first team were without a fixture, as they prepare for their promotion play-off games.
On Saturday, April 9th they are at Alderley Edge, and the following Saturday they host Leeds Adel, before the round-robin programme comes to an end in Leeds against Newcastle on Saturday, April 23rd.
The second team beat Springfields 7-2, with Judith Hind getting three, and Freya Bythell, Zoe Kidney, Thea Cormack and Hayley Baines getting one each.
On Sunday, April 10th, the seconds are in the Caley Trophy Final against Leyland and Chorley at Stanley Park and the thirds are in the Lishman Plate Final.