Blackpool and Rossall hockey review

Simon Thomas of Blackpool
Simon Thomas of Blackpool
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Blackpool Men’s senior hockey team  were edged out 5-4 in a thriller at Wigan, where the ill Dave Morgan was replaced by fellow 46-year-old Pete Latimer, who last played for the first team five years ago.

The game was played on a sloping and very muddy school pitch which was testing for both sides.

Wigan made the most of playing downhill in the first half as they moved into an early 2-0 lead.

Blackpool regrouped and started to assert themselves in midfield, where the industrious Simon Thomas linked well with wingers Joe Neath and Will Pickles.

Jordan Payne ran past the Wigan defence and around the keeper before passing across goal for Ian Swaine to pull one back.

Wigan scored twice more, despite the best efforts of keeper Graeme Kilshaw, to lead 4-1 at half-time.

Blackpool were relieved to see a Wigan goal disallowed for a marginal back-stick and it wasn’t long before long striker Payne scored to launch the comeback.

A Wigan player was yellow-carded for one impetuous tackle too many.

And Blackpool made use of the one-man advantage, Joe Neath calmly lofting the ball over the keeper and into the goal after Payne’s initial shot rebounded.

But Blackpool were caught upfield as the lone Wigan striker escaped from Simon Allen to make it 5-3.

The margin was cut to one again as Simon Thomas’ solo dribble on the right ended with a shot across goal which was deflected in by a Wigan defender.

Ben Mortimer had a chance to equalise in the dying minutes but it was not to be for Blackpool.

They are at home to division one’s bottom club Neston on Saturday.

Blackpool 2 started with only 10 men against Didsbury Northern 5 and held out at 0-0 until they had a full complement – only to lose 4-0.

Didsbury dominated possession and territory but couldn’t break through a resilient defence until they scored twice in the final 10 minutes of the first half.

Blackpool had chances in the first half and came out strongly in the second half, though Didsbury gradually reasserted their dominance and added two more goals.

Blackpool Ladies climbed to fourth in division two of the Lancashire Central Hockey League with a 3-0 win away to Leyland and Chorley 3.

Blackpool had four new ladies in their ranks but started strongly, and their solid defensive work was rewarded with an opening goal after 20 minutes.

Emma Gilfoyle ran from outside the circle to slip the ball expertly past the keeper.

Blackpool continued to have the upper hand and held their lead until half-time.

They remained in control after the restart but the Leyland keeper prevented them adding to their lead.

But with keeper Sandra Wood and her defence standing firm at the other end, Blackpool eventually sealed victory with goals by Danni Parzaile and Vicky Hives.

Hives’ goal capped her player of the match performance, with fellow scorers Parzaile and Gilfoyle in second and third places.

Blackpool welcome spectators to Stanley Park for Saturday’s 2pm home game against a Lancaster side just ahead of them on goal difference in third.

Rossall Ladies’ 2 travelled to face Pendle 3 in Nelson, where their lack of a warm-up and of match action in recent weeks showed as they conceded early.

However, they proceeded to put together some good passing play and Jenny McPhee made it 1-1 at half-time.

Rossall had more possession in the second but fell behind again, despite some fantastic saves by Hannah Jenkinson.

More fine passing play released Jasmine Wright, who fired the equaliser and the game ended 2-2.