Freya Bythell scored four goals as Pendle Forest took another step towards the North Hockey Women’s League Premier Division title with a 5-1 win over Durham University.
It was a promising start, with good possession, but Durham were difficult to breakdown and forced the play out wide.
Forest secured several penalty corners, but it was in open play that the first goal came, when a cross from the right from Charlotte Hartley found Freya Bythell in front of goal, to slot the ball home.
Bythell struck again, dribbling the ball into the D, striking it on the turn and putting Forest 2-0 up.
Durham played the ball cleanly at times and some accurate passing down the right led to a penalty corner. A top D strike then took a deflection, wrong footing the Forest keeper and bringing the scoreline to 2-1.
Before the break, Forest just managed to take the pressure off when player of the match Bythell completed her hat-trick taking on the keeper and pushing it past her.
Durham were becoming increasingly frustrated, and a player was sin binned for dissent and another warned for interfering with play.
A penalty corner sent in by Lisa Crewe brought Steph Bedford in on the right post and gave Forest a fourth goal with a deflection into the net.
Finally, having piled on all the pressure in the second half, Forest converted once more when Freya Bythell took the scoreline to 5-1, sending in a low drag flick.
Tomorrow, they play Leeds away.
Pendle Forest seconds went up against their third string in a must-win match for their promotion dreams.
Juniors Charlotte Butterworth and Annica Kelly stepped up for their second team debut, both producing mature and confident performances.
The seconds went ahead with a solo effort from Hayley Baines, before Judith Hind made it 2-0 minutes after.
Karen Wignall cutting across goal and wrong-footed keeper Jane Lofthousefor the third, before a goal mouth scramble saw Hind double her tally.
The second half saw the thirds come out with renewed vigour, but Baines added her second to make it 5-0. Players of the match wenre Zoe Kidney and Annica Kelly.