LYTHAM Ladies strengthened their grip on hockey’s Lancashire Central premier division with a 12-2 hammering of derby rivals Blackpool Ladies.
The league leaders were unstoppable in the first half at Stanley Park, scoring nine goals.
Gilly Shields opened the scoring, and Alix Townsend and Katie Ingham quickly made it 3-0.
Blackpool were forced to replace the injured Sam Hodges in the first five minutes but Lytham’s improved passing paid dividends as Shields and Ingham both added a second before the break. There were two for Charlotte Evans too, with Danielle Bamber and Natasha Singleton also on target.
Blackpool came out fighting in the second half as Maria Chiczewski skilfully rounded the keeper to score from an acute angle, then added a second from a fine pass by Taegan O’Hara.
Lytham then upped their game again as captain Bamber scored a second and two more from Singleton completed her hat-trick.
This win leaves Lytham nine points clear, with promotion to the North League firmly in their sights.
Goalkeeper Sandra Wood made some outstanding saves and was Blackpool’s player of the match.
Other matches were hit by the wintry weather, though Blackpool Thirds did play out a 2-2 draw with their Garstang counterparts.
Garstang controlled the first half and an inexperienced Blackpool trailed 2-0 at the break.
However, a much-improved second-half performance saw Blackpool pull level with goals from the outstanding Emily Copp and Nicky Dresser, while Beckie Vale was the player of the match.
Lytham St Annes Men pulled clear of the North division one relegation zone with a 3-1 home win over City of Manchester, while LSA Thirds produced their best display of the season to beat Cheetham Hill’s promotion-chasing first team 2-0.
Lytham were positive throughout and created plenty of chances, but they had to wait until the second half to open the scoring through Richard Fairclough. A first senior goal from Jack Baxter-Baird sealed the win, while Gavin Gettins and Mike Gannon were excellent in midfield.
LSA Fourths’ 1-0 win over Carlisle Seconds was their second in succession in North West division seven north and lifted them off the bottom.
They should have scored more, but Dave Gee’s first-half penalty was enough as Doug Green and John Muir stood out in defence.
n Blackpool Men’s Seconds avenged their defeat by Leyland and Chorley with a 7-1 away win which keeps them in the North West seven north promotion hunt.
Simon Thomas soon put them in front and Blackpool led 4-0 at half-time following goals by Mariano De La Lastra, Chris Hocking and Simon Allen.
Man of the match Jordan Payne netted twice in the second half and Andrew Mortimer scored the other, though a Leyland break denied Blackpool a clean sheet.
Blackpool Thirds gave a gutsy display in their 2-1 defeat by division nine north leaders Blackburn Northern.