Pendle Forest quintet influential in county tournament win

Thea Cormack, Freya Bythell, Meg Murphy, Lucy Daye and Alice Charles
Thea Cormack, Freya Bythell, Meg Murphy, Lucy Daye and Alice Charles

Pendle Forest had five players in action repesenting the Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey League’s Under 21s on Sunday.

Thea Cormack, Freya Bythell, Meg Murphy, Lucy Daye and Alice Charles helped Lancashire in their county tournament for the fourth year in a row.

Pendle Forest seconds celebrate scoring in the 6-1 win against Garstang

Pendle Forest seconds celebrate scoring in the 6-1 win against Garstang

The side won 3-0 against Cumbria, with goals for Thea and Lucy, before a 3-1 defeat against Cheshire.

Lancashire went into the last game of the day having to win by three goals to win the tournament, and that they did scoring, winning 4-0n with a hat-trick from Freya and another from Lucy.

Forest’s first team were without a fixture – on an international break as reigning champions Great Britain secured their place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a 5-12 aggregate win over Chile in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.

Pendle Forest seconds beat Garstang 6-1 on Saturday to create a three-point lead at the top of the table.

Garstang defended well and didn’t enter Pendle’s defensive 16 in the first half.

The stalemate was broken from a penalty corner, Karen Wignall opening the tally.

Minutes later, Francesca Ratcliffe scored Pendle’s second with a smiliar effort to last week – her back to goal and a reverse stick deflection past the keeper.

Going into half time at 2-0, it could easily have been double figures.

Weather conditions saw a quick restart from the umpires, and with nothing to lose, Garstang came out stronger in the second half, Jayne Kirkpatrick making two sliding saves in succession.

Eight minutes in, a driven ball down the backline, pushed into the D, saw a mix up in Pendle’s defence, and Amy Trickett – diving into the goalmouth to clear – saw it trickle over the line.

Hard work and tenacity in midfield from Ali Gill, Mawghan Naylor and player of the match Ratcliffe kept Pendle on the offensive.

Cathy Killgallon, seeing space on the right, fired the ball across the pitch to Wignall. After a quick ball to Ratcliffe, at the edge of the D, she drove in and beat the keeper for her second.

A penalty corner rewarded Pendle with a fourth. Killgallon injecting, Lucy Daye firing it towards goal, and Wignall, dinking in off the left post.

The goal of the match came minutes later. Trickett taking a quick free hit to Killgallon down the line, her first time touch pinging the ball to Marion Sanderson at the edge of the D, and Sanderson drove in down the backline, before a beautiful reverse stick flick over the keeper into the roof of the net from a tight angle took it to 5-1.

Judith Hind finally got on the score sheet after an initial shot from a penalty corner rebounded off the keeper’s pads.

The third team travelled to Fleetwood to play fourth-place Rossall on Saturday.

Rossall had the best of the first 35 minutes, opening the scoring with a weak shot that sneaked under the kicker of Jane Lofthouse in goal.

Rossall added another after a string of penalty corners for fouls by Forest in the D.

At 2-0, Forest woke up and from a penalty corner, the ball was hammered out to player of the match, Rosie Southworth, who rolled the ball into the D and then connected with power, with her effort deflected off a defender’s stick into the net.

In the second half, Forest equalised as Beccy Bell hit out to Cath Hutchinson, who drove down the left past three Rossall players. She linked well with Debs Batley, and though the keeper blocked her shot, after a scramble, Emily Dunleavy slotted home from close range.