GARSTANG 1st were due to play their penultimate game at bottom placed Blackburn Northern on Saturday.
However, a new security firm ensured that, after half an hour standing in the rain not knowing what was going on, all the players had to move to an alternative pitch at Witton Park, Blackburn, as the Blackburn Northern pitch gates remained resolutely locked.
Garstang were without their front three for various reasons, so this was a potential banana skin, given Blackburn had won their last game against Clitheroe 2nds.
Midge Bury, Helen Mather and Di Roe stepped up from the second team.
Nevertheless, Garstang started brightly, but were soon conscious that Blackburn were good at getting their sticks down and stopping the ball.
After five minutes Grace Holder started her run of goals, putting the ball home from close range after a goalmouth melee.
There then ensued a long period in which Garstang failed to clear the ball, despite winning it well.
Sarah Skelton (SJ) in goal made a couple of good saves, and the team at last settled.
Grace Holder turned her pace on, and the passes started to flow.
Midge ‘the cannon’ Bury was brought up to strike a couple of penalty corners, and just thundered the ball past the left post each time.
After 27 minutes at a penalty corner Grace scored an excellent goal across the keeper.
Two minutes later, Sarah Muir broke loose at the half-way line and sped towards the D.
She struck the ball beautifully from the top of the D across the keeper, and the ball thudded home with a thump that would have been heard in Preston.
Garstang attacked well in the second half, but were frustrated by a superb central defender until, after 15 minutes, Grace Holder beat a couple of players, half struck the ball, and it went slowly and gracefully into the goal.
Three minutes later, at a penalty corner, Grace added her third.
Three minutes later again, and Josie Rice broke into the D after a smart pass by Jude Chapman, beat two players and finished well with a reverse strike.
With 30 seconds to go, Jen Moss scored another good goal, to take the total to seven.
This was a middling performance from Garstang, which failed to approach the brilliant hockey of the previous weekend, but good teams still win on their off days.
Blackburn Northern will be relegated to the 1st Division only three years after leaving North Division 1.
n GARSTANG are always looking for new players.
If you would like to go along to a practice session, visit the website at garstangladieshockeyclub.com or ring the head coach Dave Gee on 07774 792824.