Pendle Forest clinch title and win place in promotion play-offs

The celebrations get underway as Pendle Forest clinch the title
The celebrations get underway as Pendle Forest clinch the title
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Pendle Forest clinched the North Hockey Women’s League Division 2 North West title on Sunday - and now face the play-offs to try and earn promotion.

After drawing 0-0 with Formby on Saturday, Forest beat Liverpool Northern 3-2 the following day to get over the line.

Forest take in their achievement

Forest take in their achievement

And they will now play-off against the Division 2 North East, South East and South West winners in a mini-league next month.

The top two teams then go up into North Division 1.

Forest play their final league match against Carlisle at Marsden Heights at 11-30 a.m. tomorrow, before the play-offs, where they will play on April 11th and 18th - randomly drawn home and away - then the 25th at Weetwood in Leeds.

The only other team confirmed is Lymm from the South West league.

Forest players are jubilant at full time

Forest players are jubilant at full time

Forest travelled to Formby knowing that they were in for a physical game.

The hosts matched Forest in the first 15 minutesand had an effort cleared off the line.

Forest managed to absorb the pressure, with Laura Kendall making two good saves.

Forest then won countless short corners but, despite excellent strikes on goal from Cathy Waters and Deb Bythell, none of them were converted.

Karen Wignall found herself one on one with the Formby keeper but she kept her calm to deny Wignall a goal.

After the break Forest continued to dominate, but despite player of the match Olivia Bythell running the midfield, they couldn’t break through.

With five minutes to go Formby had a player sinbinned, but they packed their defence and held on.

Forest then took on Liverpool knowing a win would make them champions.

After a shaky start, Kayleigh Vickers found a channel directly under the keeper to fire Forest ahead.

But Northern intercepted a pass out of defence and took their opportunity to equalise.

Forest regained the lead when a lifted shot at goal from Deb Bythell at a short corner was pounced upon by Wignall, and shortly after, Wignall managed to drag the keeper out of position after some great work by midfield and fired her second goal.

Olivia Purtill and Waters also went close before the break.

Northern looking dangerous on the break in the second half, and, from a short corner, scored a second goal after a brilliant initial save.

But Forest claimed a 3-2 win to spark jubilant scenes.

Pendle’s third string played unbeaten, already promoted, Lancaster and Morcambe on Sunday at Nelson.

Morcambe edged ahead somewhat against the run of play from a third-succesive penalty corner, and they added a second from a penalty flick.

In the second half, Diane McInnes pulled one back, before Debs Batley equalised.

However, Morcambe responded and managed to steal a third goal to run out 3-2 winners.