|12:00||A||WP||Ladies 2s||Witton Warriors Ladies 1||LCWHA Div 1|
|12:00||A||WSC||Men’s 3s||2:1||Wigan Men’s 3s||NWHL Div 6 NN|
|12:15||A||UCSC||Men’s 2s||7:1||Lancaster and Morecambe Men’s 3rd||NWHL Div 5 NN||
|13:30||H||StPk||Ladies 1s||3:1||Preston Ladies 2s||LCWHA PD||
|15:00||H||StPk||Ladies 3s||2:3||Brookfields Ladies||LCWHA D3||
|15:00||H||StPk||Men’s 1s||4:1||Lytham St Annes Men’s 2s||NWHL Div3N|
Blackpool mens first team overcame local rivals Lytham St Annes second team 4-1 on a sunny afternoon at Stanley Park. With Blackpool struggling with availability, there was a welcome return for Joe Boniface who was coaxed from the sidelines to prevent the home side starting a player light. The initial exchanges were scrappy, with both sides guilty of giving the ball away too often in possession. Lytham shaded the possession, but it was Blackpool who looked the more threatening on the counter with Dave Morgan and Ian Swaine both forcing saves from Lytham keeper Huggon. However it was from a penalty corner that the deadlock was finally broken as Rob Dingle swept in from close range after Morgan had worked the ball past the Lytham defence.
The key talking point of the match was the sending off of Lytham centre back Simon Evans, which seemed to take all the momentum out of the game and both sides sluggishly made it to half time with the score still at 1-0.
As Lytham became more compact to reduce the impact of being a man down, Blackpool struggled to find a way through and were punished for their complacency when Lytham converted a penalty corner of their own to bring the game level. This seemed to provide the spark Blackpool needed and they immediately clicked into gear to produce their best hockey of the match. Chris Hocking restored Blackpool’s lead with a calm finish after the ball had fallen kindly too him after the initial shot was saved by Huggon. Dingle doubled his tally and Blackpool’s advantage again from a penalty corner with a flick at the near post. Blackpool’s victory was confirmed when Swaine buried a reverse stick shot into the roof of the net for the fourth.
Hayes Hits Four in Comfortable Win
Despite being without their captain and a side lacking experience, Blackpool men’s second team produced a great performance away to Lancaster and Morecombe to win 7-1. Blackpool got off to a slow start and conceding a surprise early goal as the Lancaster and Morecombe striker deflected the ball past a scrambling Blackpool keeper. This shock sparked Blackpool into life as they piled the pressure on and were rewarded with a goal through Martin Hayes as he scored from close range. Blackpool then took the lead through a low drag flick from Nathan Woodman, who then put Blackpool 3-1 up at the break after he slotted a cross from Hayes into the bottom corner.
The second half was more of the same from Blackpool as they continued to pile on the pressure creating plenty of chances. Winger Jordan Payne caused chaos down the left hand side resulting in two goals in quick succession for Hayes. The first was a well place deflection and the other a neat strike into the bottom corner, putting the game well out of sight. Before the end Hayes managed to grab a fourth and Payne also got on the score sheet with a well deserved goal after some good link up play between Woodman and Hayes.
Blackpool men’s thirds made it three wins out of three with a 2-1 win away at Wigan.
Upon arrival, Blackpool were greeted by the sight of a highly organised and rehearsed opposition, however once the match started, the Blackpool team showed that talent and a real determination to win could lead the possession. A lucky break from Wigan saw them score from a short corner against the run of play. This was the incentive Blackpool needed and 2 goals quickly followed by Ollie Tomlinson and Mike Tidmas on debut, giving the thirds their first win of the season.
Blackpool juniors won a mini-tournament also featuring Preston and Lytham, held at Kirkham Grammar School, with 3 draws and 1 win. Detailed match report is below if you wish to use any of the info below.
Only five players turned up – Luke, Harrison, Toby, Oliver and Brent. Luke also played two additional games to help out other squads.
The first game was against Preston and we were able to borrow two players from Lytham. All our boys worked hard with Luke pulling off some great saves. Blackpool definitely played the better hockey, but struggled to find their way past the Preston defence and goal keeper. The game ended 0-0.
The second game was against Lytham and again we were able to borrow two players from another team. The standard of hockey was absolutely fantastic from both sides. Blackpool dominated the early stages and went ahead with the first goal from Harrison. Blackpool were unlucky not to go further ahead were it not for some outstanding work from the opposing goal keeper (who had been borrowed from the Preston squad). Unfortunately Blackpool could not hold on as Lytham grew in confidence and a sweetly taken goal, levelled the scores, before a world class saved from Luke, ensure that Blackpool kept the game a well-earned draw. All boys continued to listen and work hard as a team.
Game 3 – Blackpool v Preston. Preston, smarting from their defeat to Lytham, came out all guns blazing, but were repelled by Blackpool’s ferocity in defence with the whole team stepping up to the mark with Luke again pulling off some wonder saves. When Luke was beaten, an unbelievable goal line-save from Oliver, kept the score 0-0. Blackpool then themselves grew in confidence and crafted out a well-taken goal created by Harrison, and scored by on-loan Lytham striker. Preston shortly equalised when a wonder save from Luke hit a back tracking Blackpool defender on the foot to give Preston a penalty corner and Preston’s star striker jinked and side stepped past two Blackpool defenders before slotting the ball sweetly in the corner to even the game which finished a well-deserved draw.
Game 4 – Blackpool v Lytham – tournament decider. Blackpool borrowed Henry and Ashley, two players from Preston. Lytham, fresh with confidence from their win over Preston out played Blackpool in the opening few minutes. However, tireless defence from Brent, Harrison, Toby, Oliver and Luke along with Ashley from Preston all working exceptionally hard to keep the score at zero, kept Lytham at bay. Parents and coach from Blackpool players, were doing their best to inspire a tiring Blackpool team back into life – and it worked, as clever play from the back and a flick ball from Toby sent our on loan Preston striker Henry, charging up field to cut inside two Lytham defenders before firing across goal for Oliver to score a well-earned goal. This proved to be the winning goal but not before Brent made an inspirational last ditch flying clearance. After Luke had initially made one save, Brent came from nowhere to clear the ball which was about to roll under Luke’s body, from the line. Blackpool held on for a famous win and a quite famous tournament win considering, that players had to be borrowed. As a parent and coach, I am immensely proud of the five that turned up as they gave their all and listened and followed everything I asked of them, despite my limited knowledge of hockey. Although every player, deserved to win, Brent was outstanding in every game, never giving up and deserved my choice for Blackpool player of the tournament.
Well done to all the lads. The hockey that was played was excellent and entertaining to watch, and after speaking with parents they really enjoyed the afternoons’ hockey and are looking forward to the next.