An excellent game of hockey ended with Garstang Ladies’ first XI beaten 2-0 by Lancaster last Saturday.
Garstang played their best competitive hockey of the season with grit and sustained determination but Lancaster were equally as determined and they earned the points the hard way.
Garstang were without Di Roe, who had suffered a broken bone in her hand, but welcomed back Lindsey Norton and also fielded newcomer Lisa Swaine.
Teenager Holly Hunter impressed for Garstang with a number of runs down the wing as the game got underway, well supplied by Jude Chapman.
They thought they had taken the lead when Kiery Horne found Rebecca Worthington, who placed a shot across the keeper.
However, the umpire decided the ball had struck Horne’s foot before crossing the line and ruled it out.
Lancaster then stepped up a gear, winning their first penalty corner, only for Garstang keeper Sarah Skelton to make two diving saves before the ball was cleared.
Hunter almost caught out Lancaster on the break but it was Garstang’s defenders, skipper Donna Richardson, Norton and man-of-the-match Georgie Brumwell, who had to work hard in front of Skelton.
Both sides kept on looking for the opening goal before half-time with Garstang twice threatening the Lancaster goal through Horne and Worthington.
At the other end, Skelton produced another good stop as the first half ended with the game goalless.
That changed early in the second period when some clumsy stick work gave Lancaster a penalty corner.
Skelton initially thwarted them with a diving save but saw the ball lifted home to break the deadlock.
Stung into action, Garstang won their first penalty corner which brought a good stick save from the Lancaster keeper.
The Lancaster defence put in a strong display but Garstang almost got back on terms when Hunter hammered a shot past the keeper.
However, the ball struck the post and bounced over the back line to leave Garstang still trailing.
Lancaster capitalised by doubling their lead when, from another penalty corner, the ball was lifted over Skelton for a second time to make it 2-0.
Lancaster’s backline remained resolute with a brave – but dangerous – tactic of diving on the ball in front of an attacker.
Garstang, though, became clumsy with their tackling with Richardson being shown a green card as Lancaster eventually gained a hard-fought victory.