Leyland and Chorley Hockey Club ladies’ 2nds’ 4-0 victory against Lancaster Nomads Ladies 2nds guaranteed their early promotion to the Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey League Division Two.
After only just missing out on promotion in their previous two seasons, unbeaten table toppers L&C steamed past the Nomads to clinch promotion with three games to go.
L&C pushed back with a slightly changed line-up which saw them take a while to settle down and play their usual game.
The hosts dominated the attacking play in the opening 20 minutes, with shots on target by Michelle Alty and Lisa Evans but the Nomads keeper made some excellent saves to stop L&C breaking the deadlock.
Leyland finally got their just desserts as Anna Jones opened the scoring when she won the ball off a Nomads player from a defensive hit-out and ran one-on-one with the keeper, before smashing the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.
Nomads’ only shot on target of the game was well dealt with by L&C keeper Savannah Wilding.
Leyland continued to apply pressure but went into the break still only a goal up as they saw a couple of shots fly wide.
At the start of the second half, L&C’s defence had to work hard to keep the ball out of the D but the hosts continued to dominate the game.
Evans scored a controversial second goal which was initially disallowed.
The umpire called a lifted shot on goal from the top of the D dangerous play and gave a hit-out, but after Leyland appealed the decision, both umpires decided that the goal should stand.
Evans was in the action moments later as she teed-up Jones to make it 3-0.
In the second half, Paula Thornton kept the Nomads’ key player at bay, with Claire Musgrove and Rachel Wyllie keeping all of the visitors’ attacking play out of the D.
Kayt Coathup made it four as she received the ball just inside the top of the D, turned and struck the ball into the goal, catching the keeper off guard.
Despite achieving promotion from Division Three, the 2nds still have two targets to reach.
A spokesman said: “We want to finish at the top of the league table and score 100 goals.
“We are currently on 89 goals with three games left and the team will be putting 100 per cent effort in to achieve this.”
Leyland and Chorley ladies’ 1sts beat Clitheroe and Blackburn Northern ladies 2nds 6-0.
Sarah Winstanley scored a hat-trick, Raelene Strickland netted twice and Eluned Smith completed the rout.