Fine performance despite 1-0 defeat

Young blood: Garstang second's fielded several up and coming players in their Caley Trophy clash against Longridge
Young blood: Garstang second's fielded several up and coming players in their Caley Trophy clash against Longridge
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Garstang 2nd XI took on Longridge at home in the Caley Trophy

Garstang were at last near full strength with a full set of substitutes despite the half term break.

Garstang had the benefit of several enthusiastic, noisy supporters to reduce Longridge’s home advantage and made the brighter start with Liz Suddell and this season’s new 16-year-old player Nicky Charter, showing off their pace in runs on the Dee.

The side also fielded several young players including Ellie Harrison, Lauran & Sophie Whiteside, Gemma Hampson and Jemima Dewhurst to balance the experience of Helen Mather, Caroline Hampson (mum of Gemma), Nicola Rogerson, Gemma Livesey, Vicky Bradley and Eileen Smith with county players Jess Reid and in goal Megan Ditchfield

The game was played at a fast pace, aided by some excellent umpiring; - allowing advantage to be played and the game flowed from end to end with honours very even in the first half.

Helen Mather came very close to scoring twice for Garstang in goal mouth scrambles and Longridge’s attacks on the break were held by Gemma Hampson who had a superb game as sweeper meeting every break away just in front of the Dee.

At the other end the Longridge keeper was always quick to meet breaks at the head of the Dee and made some really good diving foot saves

Garstang won a couple of penalty corners but failed to convert. After 17 minutes in the second half Megan Ditchfield made a superb diving save but the ball was deflected to a Longridge player who got past the Garstang post defender to make it 1 - 0

Longridge held out despite some impassioned attacks by Garstang and twice nearly got a second goal. Nevertheless this was an excellent team performance by

Garstang with players supporting one another well and playing good hockey.

Longridge showed strong commitment and made it an excellent game between two evenly balanced sides.