IN a repeat of the opening Staffordshire Hockey league fixture of the season, Stafford Ladies 1st XI faced their own second team on Saturday and completed a league double in an exciting clash.
Both sides started the match positively but the opening ten minutes saw play mainly in midfield, as neither side were able to break strongly into the opposition circle.
With 12 minutes gone Rachel Humpage found space and was able to drive into the circle before slipping a pass to Emma Clay who made it 1-0 to the first team.
Play continued to be quite even for the remainder of the first half with most of the possession still confined to the middle of the park.
The only clear cut chances fell to Karen Madoc-Jones for the seconds which were crucially saved by Sam Ferguson in the first team goal, so keeping the score at 1-0 going into the break.
At the start of the second half the final pass again eluded both sides when it mattered and it was somewhat against the run of play when the first team added to their tally.
Becky Blakey was able to pick out a pass to Clay who beat Nicky Sweeney in the second team goal to score her second of the game.
The second goal was the catalyst the firsts needed. They lifted the tempo and started to dominate the possession, with Helen Skilton excelling in the midfield.
First team captain Loz Davenport got the third goal when her flick from a penalty corner was deflected off a defender into the top corner.
Determined to get something from the game the seconds were rewarded when Mary Wolfe showed great composure to find the net from a penalty corner.
Late on, Davenport put the result beyond doubt making it 4-1 from a penalty flick to secure all three points and keep the firsts some four points clear at the top of the Staffordshire division one table going into the Christmas break.