Ladies smash in a perfect 10 to start new year

Photo Ian Robinson'Chorley Ladies 1 vs Southport 2nds'Raelene Strickland
Photo Ian Robinson'Chorley Ladies 1 vs Southport 2nds'Raelene Strickland

Leyland and Chorley Ladies first team picked up where they left up before the Christmas break as they thrashed Southport seconds 10-0.

The victory sees them sitting top of the Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey Association Division Two, five points clear and a game in hand on seven other teams.

Straight from the push back, Leyland and Chorley were on the attack, bullying their opponents and beating them to every loose ball.

Within the first minute, the home side were awarded a penalty corner.

Sarah Maycock latched on to it but her effort was saved by the Southport goalkeeper, who forced the ball out for a long corner.

And from that set-piece, goal-machine Raelene Strickland latched on to the ball and slammed the ball home to give Leyland and Chorley the lead.

After Southport pushed back, Leyland and Chorley soon took control of the ball and were awarded another penalty corner.

That effort was again well saved but Becca Halsall got her name on the scoresheet with an excellent strike past the outstretched goalkeeper from the rebound.

With all members of the midfield and attack getting involved in the game, it made for some excellent and slick attacking play.

Jess Frith, consistently excellent throughout, tormented the Southport defends down the wings while skipper Sarah King dictated play from the middle of midfield.

Further goals came quickly to Leyland and Chorley.

Six minutes in, another penalty corner was awarded following a foul on Sarah Maycock.

The slip to Strickland and subsequent strike rebounded on to the stick of Nicola Wallbank, who secured the third goal with a strong push past the keeper.

With all of the Leyland and Chorley side taking their chances in front of the net, it wasn’t long before the fourth goal went in.

Strickland was in the action again with assistance from captain King.

And one minute later, it was five.

As Halsall grabbed her second slamming the ball into the top corner.

Halsall continued to be a major asset to Leyland and Chorley when her lifted slip to Maycock created another goal to make it 6-0.

Debutant Paula Thornton then made it 7-0 before Maycock made it 8-0 just before the break.

Three minutes into the second half and it was yet another goal.

This time Marie Meagher added her name to the scoresheet with a strike that flew past the goalkeeper.

Despite being a spectator for the majority of the game, Leyland and Chorley keeper Alison Clewlow was called upon to make an excellent save with her right foot after Southport took advantage of a lapse of concentration in the back line.

The home side refocused and the prolific Strickland secured a magnificent hat-trick after latching on to a Frith throughball to crown a wonderful return after Christmas.

n The men’s first team had their fixture abandoned due to a frozen pitch while then men’s second and third team both won.