Promotion hopes for the season dashed as Keswick do the double over 1s and 2s, however Ladies 2s and Mens 3s pick up wins.
Third Team Heroes
|Saturday 16 February 2013
|Lytham St Annes Badgers
|Lancaster and Morecambe Ladies 1st
|Golborne Men’s 3s
|NWHL Div 8 N
|Keswick West Cumbria Men’s 1s
|Keswick West Cumbria Men’s 2s
|NWHL Div 5 N
Blackpool Men’s first team put in a battling performance against a strong Keswick side at Stanley Park but were edged out 3-2.
Blackpool got off to the worst possible start when several failed attempts to clear the ball from danger resulted in Keswick opening the scoring inside the first 5 minutes. Blackpool rallied to produce a strong defensive display against the quick Keswick forwards, with some committed tackles from Dan Woodman and Rob Abbott keeping them at bay. Blackpool threatened on the counter and found an equaliser after Ian Swaine lifted the ball over the advancing Keswick goalkeeper after a lay-off from Dave Morgan.
The second half was as tight as the first, and Blackpool were thankful of Captain Nick Rainbow’s brilliant save low to his left to keep the match all square. Blackpool continued to threaten on the break with James Slater using his pace to his advantage down the right flank. Richard Blacow’s drag flick was deflected inches wide of the post and the game was balanced on a knife edge. Blackpool finally paid the price for giving away possession one too many times and a speculative shot by a Keswick player was deflected off a Blackpool stick past Rainbow for an own goal. Keswick doubled their lead minutes later after an excellent strike from their captain.
Blackpool pushed hard, and despite being reduced to 10 men, gave themselves a glimmer of hope with only minutes to go when Man of the Match Rob Dingle beat the keeper from close range after quick thinking from Simon Thomas and Jordan Payne at a sideline hit. But this proved a mere consolation as the final whistle blew with Blackpool unable to find an equaliser, and they now find themselves in 4th place leap-frogged by Keswick.
Blackpool 2’s, 6th in Division 5, were also at home to their Keswick counterparts who were placed 3rd. Blackpool took the lead when Mike Sharp flicked in at the far post into the roof of the net from a short corner. However the lead was short lived and Keswick scored four before Mike Sharp scored a quality reverse stick shot from a tight angle into the far corner to make it 4-2. Goalkeeper Graeme Kilshaw kept it the scoreline down with some awesome stops and Craig Brookes was also resolute at the back until he had to go off injured, but the damage had already been done. Mitch Blakemore filled in at centre half and Nick Slater had a great game down the left wing, but no more Blackpool goals came and Keswick sneaked a fifth goal to keep their promotion hopes very much alive, whereas Blackpool will have to settle for a mid-table finish.
Three was the magic number as Blackpool 3s beat Golbourne 3s 3-0 to make it three wins from three. Being able to freshen the squad up after last weeks long trip to Keswick, it was the reintroduced Martin Hayes who combined with Alex Diver on three occasions as Hayes scored a hat trick. Blackpool controlled most of the possession through man of the match Ollie Tomlinson, supported by Nick Aziz and Sam Owen. Last week’s man of the match Conagh Griffin was most unlucky when he was hit in the face by a stick, which subsequently broke, but he was very keen to return to the action so was only on the sidelines for a few minutes.
Blackpool Juniors played their local counterparts from Lytham St Annes before all the senior games. Lytham Juniors started strongly and quickly established a two goal lead against a less experienced Blackpool side. Lytham continued to dominate throughout the first half but every credit to Blackpool for giving their all and never giving in. In the 2nd half Blackpool improved significantly and played some nice hockey but the final pass was missing or the solid Lytham defence cleared any danger. Lytham gradually increased their scoreless from a furthere five goals. Although the final score did not reflect the effort the Blackpool side gave, it’s a little reminder of what can be achieved with hard work and effort. Brent Whiteside and Alicia Johnson were the outstanding players for Blackpool.