PHOENIX Blues Ladies HC hit back in style to sink visiting local rivals Stafford thirds, on the Staffordshire Hockey League scene this week.
The final outcome was a 6-1 success for the Blues, who despite dominating long periods of the first half, saw themselves trailing 1-0 at the break.
While excellent goalkeeping by Stafford’s Ashley Renshaw kept the Blues at bay in the first half, the visitors caught the home side on the break and an excellent strike by Chris Weetman hit a defender’s stick and looped over the keeper’s head and into the net.
But the second period was all about the Blues and, from a penalty corner, captain Dawn Moogan hammered the ball home for the equaliser.
It was Moogan again a few minutes later who netted her second of the match, dri- ving into the circle from midfield and beating the Stafford keeper with a well-hit drive.
Blues took control from then on and moved the ball round the pitch well and, a pass from winger Claire Walker set up Louise Robinson for the Blues’ third goal.
Newcomer Theresa Liggins was next on the mark for the Blues with her first goal for the club, closely followed by Michelle Davies who made it a nap hand.
It was soon six of the best when Robin- son notched her second of the game to complete Blues’ scoring spree.
Moogan and Davies shared the player of the match award for the Blues, while Ren- shaw picked up the award for Stafford.
Going in to the half term break, Stafford firsts producded another encouraging performance, running out 3-1 victors at home to Cannock thirds.
Stafford started the stronger, dominating possession and forcing Cannock to con- cede a penalty corner early on. Unfortu- nately, Becky Blakey’s strike lifted and hit a Cannock defender.
The home side kept up the pressure, not allowing Cannock to penetrate the Stafford D. Finally, Stafford opened their account after some excellent passing between Tammy Davis and Emma Clay, whose final ball into the D found Mary Wolfe and she slotted home.
Stafford then forced the Cannock keeper into making several fine saves, before a goalmouth scramble led to Wolfe netting Stafford’s second.
In the second half much of the play was in midfield and Cannock were unable to get into the game. It came as no surprise when Davis made it 3-0 with a fine solo effort.
With ten minutes left, Cannock made tactical changes and were determined to get back in the game. They asked several questions of Stafford keeper Eleanor Bar- net, but she stood firm, pulling off several fine saves to retain her side’s three-goal lead.
However, pressure finally paid off for Cannock in the closing stages when an unfortunate rebound from a penalty cor- ner hit Barnet and crossed the Stafford goal line.
Next fixtures in the Staffs ladies’ league are due to resume on November 9.
Matches: Div 1, Lichfield 3 v Stafford 2, Tamworth 2 v Stafford 1, Dudley 1 v Bloxwich 1, North Staffs 2 v Cannock 3, Leek 2 v Wolves and Tettenhall 1.
Div 2, Bloxwich 2 v Stone 2, Stafford 3 v Uttoxeter 2, Phoenix Blues v West Bromwich.
Div 3, Stone 3 v Bloxwich 3; Div 4, Stafford 4 v Lichfield 6, Stafford 5 v Wolves and Tettenhall 4.