Get hooked on hockey

Garstang lost out 3-0 at home to rivals Springfields second team.
Garstang lost out 3-0 at home to rivals Springfields second team.

Garstang Ladies Hockey Club is set to launch a Back to Hockey programme to try and attract more local players to the sport.

The long established club is encouraging women to have-a-go at the sport at a series of taster sessions to try to boost membership.

The club, based at Preston’s UCLan Sports Arena, has two teams who play in the North Hockey Division 2 North West and Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey Association Leagues.

Club member and first team goalkeeper Sarah Skelton said the informal training would be aimed at people looking to get fit and have fun in a team environment.

She said: “The event is designed to invite girls to give hockey a try or even come back to the sport after many years.”

The team was founded in the 1950s and the current first team now play at the highest level in the club’s history, but despite a thriving junior section new players are needed to boost the adult team numbers during the competitive season.

The first team currently sit bottom of the Division 2 table after winning just two of their 15 games this season.

Their latest 3-0 defeat was at home on Saturday to local rivals Springfields 2nd.

Garstang went down 2-0 in the opening 10 minutes after conceding an early penalty corner and dropping their guard after a surprise Springfield break.

Despite chances to get back into the game before the end of the first half, Alice Matthew’s powerful shot was deemed too high and her resulting goal disallowed.

Coach David Gee gave a strong talk during the break and the resulting opening period of the second half saw Garstang back on top in possession.

But a severe knock to the hand of Di Roe saw her substituted with a double-fracture to her left thumb.

Jemma Hampson from the second team made her debut for the firsts as Roe’s replacement. The game geared up once more, with Garstang piling on the pressure.

It was captain Lindsay Norton who made a crucial interception in defence and some powerful runs up field.

Garstang were nearly rewarded after 25 minutes when a classy break was made by Josie Rice into the D, but she fell short of placing the ball to Fran Summers.

The side were denied a result from two penalty corners and their bad luck continued when four minutes from time, Springfields scrambled another goal to complete the misery.

Club chairman Charles Jackman said a well organised Springfield side deserved their win because they defended well and took their chances, whilst Garstang, yet again, could not put the ball in the net despite holding the balance of play.