Garstang Ladies Hockey Club’s first XI were 4-2 winners against Carlisle in a real curate’s egg of a performance at Cottam.
Carlisle started strongly while Garstang produced sequences of good stick skill, followed by awful errors negating that good work.
Garstang’s passing was inaccurate and they were giving Carlisle space to play and for long through attacking passes.
As usual it was captain Donna Richardson who steadied the ship but even she could not stop a superb Carlisle penalty corner score with a wide shot being deflected into the goal for the lead.
Garstang gradually improved their play with Richardson and Di Roe suppling good passes up the pitch to enable some good attacks.
Carlisle, nevertheless, were belying their low league position with some strong quick forwards on the right wing and a pair of good defenders to frustrate Garstang’s efforts on goal.
After 10 minutes Garstang improved their passing and had two near misses with poorly-placed shots hitting the Carlisle keeper’s pads.
On 15 minutes Di Roe sent a superb long ball 40 metres to Rebecca Worthington at the top of the Carlisle ‘D’ but, unfortunately, she hit the keeper again.
Minutes later and a similar move culminated in a shot just wide of goal by Worthington.
After 25 minutes Josie Rice received a great pass across the ‘D’ and was very unlucky not to score with a deflected effort.
Garstang geared up to go after Carlisle and were on top of the game for the last five minutes of the half.
One near miss was followed by another when Kiery Horne just missed a score on the post.
However, with fewer than two minutes of the half to go, Garstang won a deserved penalty corner which was beautifully converted by Roe with a low flick from the top of the ‘D’.
With the score 1-1, the Garstang supporters were at last cheered up and saw their team, as usual, come out better in the second half.
Young Holly Hunter made some great runs up the right wing and was unlucky not to score with a reverse stick shot from the top of the ‘D’.
Garstang, however, spoiled things by persistent clumsy defensive tackles, leading to penalty corners being awarded to their opponents.
On nine minutes, Garstang went close when they won a long corner and some great movement of the ball culminated in Worthington hitting the goal post with her deflection.
Richardson started to make some longer runs from defence and supply great ball to the forwards.
Another near miss was followed by a brilliant 60-metre pass that just ran beyond Fran Summers, who only had the keeper left to beat.
After another penalty corner gifted to Carlisle following more agricultural stuff from the Garstang defence, Garstang at last began to play better hockey.
Hunter made a great run up the wing to win a repeated penalty corner.
At the first, a good shot from Horne was just stopped on the goal line by a back, while the second saw Roe’s good shot just barred by the extended foot of the over-reaching keeper.
Their luck at last changed on 27 minutes when Lisa Swaine made a good break and her pass across the ‘D’ was beautifully converted by Horne.
Three minutes later, Swaine made another break and scored a simple goal with a push to the side of the keeper to make it 3-1.
A few minutes later, Roe made a great pass from defence to Swaine, who powered past two defenders and shot wide of the keeper for a wonderful second goal.
However, in the last minute, Garstang relaxed too much and allowed Carlisle to score with a well worked penalty corner.