Not such a champion show as unbeaten record ends

Penny Robb
Penny Robb

Leyland and Chorley Ladies slumped to their first defeat of the season – one week after being crowned champions of the Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey Association Division One.

It was now second-placed Springfield thirds who inflicted a first defeat on L&C as they ran out 3-2 winners.

Springfield made a quick start to the game as Kirsty Taylor was required to make a vital block in the opening 30 seconds.

Leyland and Chorley were on the back foot, as Gail Arthur was called into action to block another Springfield shot.

Eluned Smith then saw a shot blocked in the D after smart work from Yasmin Bennison.

After 15 minutes, Sarah Winstanley shot wide from a short corner and moments later, Caroline Gray intercepted a Springfields pass and found Marie Meager, who played through Sarah King, and she in turn passed to Raelene Strickland , whose shot slotted under the goalkeeper.

Springfield immediately hit back by scoring from a short corner.

And the fierce battle on the pitch continued and Paula Thornton saw her shot rebound off the goalkeeper.

Springfield then took the lead from another short corner, before slotting another past Alison Clewlow to make it 3-1.

The third goal sparked L&C into life. Smith played through Nicola Wallbank with a well-timed pass, and she then squared to Winstanley who found Robb and the latter played the ball back to Wallbank who finished the move that she started.

Leyland and Chorley went in search of an equaliser, but frantic defending saw King denied inside the D.

Smith, who impressed throughout, had a chance late on to bag an equaliser but more last-gasp defending ensured Leyland couldn’t prevent the defeat.

On Saturday, Leyland and Chorley Ladies travel to Lancaster Nomads.

n Leyland and Chorley men’s second team avoided relegation from the Division Five North/North with a 1-0 victory over basement side Lancaster and Morecambe thirds.

Leyland and Chorley started the game in total control with the midfield duo of Damian Kaighin and Phil Rimmer creating a number of chances.

This control continued for much of the first half as the home side struggled to get the ball out of their own half.

However, a number of counter attacks from L&M were expertly diffused by some calm tackling from defenders Matt Evans and Paul Tickner.

Andy Hey had the best chance of the half shooting wide from inside the D.

The second half continued much like the first with the visitors continuing to look the better side.

With 15 minutes remaining, Matt Evans had a goal chalked off after his shot hit an attacking foot.

But soon after, Gary Shivers dribbled the ball into the home sides D before slotting it into the bottom of the goal.

Lancaster almost hit back in the dying seconds but Jon Booth pulled off a fine block.