Garstang Ladies Hockey Club’s first team were 5-1 winners when they entertained Preston at the weekend.
On the back of two successive defeats – their poorest form in almost three years – and having slipped to fourth in the table, the Reds were determined to take three points and get back in the race for second with leaders Pendle, realistically, out of sight.
Twenty-five minutes into Saturday’s game and the Preston keeper made a series of great double saves, the first while on the floor before recovering to make two more from Kiery Horne.
Garstang broke the deadlock with Horne turning provider for Fran Summers to slot home.
Play became gritty with dissent seeing Gemma Trickett leave the field for two minutes.
Moments before half-time and Garstang went to sleep as a defensive free hit went right up the pitch to a Preston player.
She took the ball down the right, into the D, and squared for their forward to finish first time past Alanis Parkinson.
After the break, the Reds saw Summers’ shot hit the keeper’s pads before Preston won a couple of penalty corners, Jen Moss’ low stick save thwarting the first while the second was fired wide.
Garstang went 2-1 up when Di Roe and Trickett combine for Josie Rice to lift the ball into the roof of the net.
It was 3-1 within minutes when Trickett’s reverse lift over the keeper hit a defender on the line and Rice converted the penalty flick.
Preston had possibly their best period of play with Parkinson making two saves and seeing a looping shot hit the crossbar.
Garstang were still hungry for goals, however, and grabbed two more in the final five minutes.
Di Roe’s reversed ball took a deflection off a Preston stick and rolled past the keeper to make it 4-1.
Summers’ was denied when she was one-on-one with the Preston keeper but, with 20 seconds left, Garstang sealed a comfortable victory as Gemma Trickett finished in style.
Elsewhere, the seconds and thirds also had cause for celebration as they reached their respective cup finals.
The seconds’ 5-0 win over Lancaster saw them into the Caley Cup final.
They took an 11th minute lead through Kathryn Watson before Steph Roe doubled the lead in the second half.
Rachel Roe made it 3-0, Georgie Hampson’s neat flick extended their advantage before Holly Hunter completed the scoring.
The thirds reached the Lishman Cup final as one of their best displays of the season brought a 2-0 win over Clitheroe and Blackburn.
After a goalless first half, Garstang took the lead when Mel Gee’s shot was deflected over the keeper.
Victory was secured when Helen Mather fired home from a neatly-worked penalty corner.