Five-star champions earn first victory of new season

Leyland and Chorley thirds' scorers at Blackpool, Simon Gray, James Devereux and Adrian Thornton.
Leyland and Chorley thirds' scorers at Blackpool, Simon Gray, James Devereux and Adrian Thornton.
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Newly-promoted league champions Leyland and Chorley Hockey Club registered their first win of the season as they beat Rochdale 5-2.

Both sides traded early pressure, but the first goal of the game came when Mark Collier’s shot was stopped by a foot on the line, and a penalty corner was awarded.

Up stepped Mark Swann to flick a shot into the net to give Leyland and Chorley an early lead.

The locals’ midfield of Nick Dunn, Gary Swann and Dave Rimmer kept pushing on, but were caught out when Rochdale broke and made the game 1-1.

As the second half began, L&C gave the ball away cheaply and were made to pay as Rochdale made it 2-1.

Leyland and Chorley fought back, and Swann played the ball out wide to Robbie Unsworth, who cut inside, beating two defenders before rounding the goalkeeper to slot the ball home from a tight angle.

Not long after, L&C won a penalty corner, and James Gallacher connected with a Mark Collier cross.

L&C made it 4-2 when man of the match Unsworth found strike partner Collier at the top of the area, and Collier turned and struck past a static Rochdale keeper.

Late on, Leyland and Chorley made it 5-2 when Collier turned the goalkeeper and fired towards goal, and Simon Myers was on hand to make sure the ball went in.

Captain Nick Dunn almost scored in the dying seconds when Collier found him in the area, and he turned a defender then the goalkeeper, but tired legs failed him, allowing a Rochdale defender to tackle him with the goal at his mercy.

L&C seconds lost out 5-0 at Formby thirds.

Both teams started well and Leyland looked to press with possession however their lack of killer instinct made it hard for them around the oppositions D.

Formby opened the scoring from a short corner, and although Jordan Schultz was able to get out and close the shooter down, but the ball was deflected in off him.

Formby doubled their lead when an error by Keith Gradwell lead to an easy turnover of possession, and enabling the hosts to dribble into the D and score.

In the second half, L&C came out more attack-minded, and Gary Shivers dropped deeper, hoping to link up the midfield to the attack.

As L&C tired, with no substitutes to freshen things up, Formby pounced on every opportunity and the match finished 5-0.

L&C third team won 6-1 against Blackpool at Stanley Park, as Adrian Thornton grabbed a hat-trick.

L&C took to the field with the bare 11, including five juniors, most of which had played earlier in the day.

Overall, Blackpool edged possession but had no killer instinct in front of goal.

It was the opposite for L&C, however, as they raced into a three-goal half-time lead, through Thornton, Simon Gray and James Devereux.

Blackpool regrouped in the second half and reduced the arrears, but L&C responded with further goals from Devereux and two more from Thornton.