SALLY Walton’s hat-trick sent Olton & West Warwick’s womens first team up to fourth in Division One North of the Investec Ladies Hockey League last weekend.
A 4-2 win ensured Olton overcame basement side Belper at Grange Road, which was the fourth victory for the promoted side this term.
The hosts took charge of the game and went in front on 14 minutes when Sally Walton converted from a penalty corner, as Olton continued to create chances at will.
Sade Gerald finally doubled the lead just shy of the half-hour mark with a goal from open play, before Walton smashed home her second from another penalty corner.
Belper were certainly not down and out though and pulled a goal back following a defensive error to reduce the arrears before half time.
A penalty stroke minutes into the second half handed Walton the chance to fire home her hat-trick goal, demonstrating exactly why she tops the goalscoring charts on 14, to put Olton 4-1 up.
While the league strugglers pulled another goal back, there was to be no further scoring.
A trip to Brooklands Poynton, who are sixth, now awaits Walton & co. on Saturday (11.45am).
The men’s team were in action twice in Division One North at the weekend, beating University of Nottingham 2-1 before succumbing to a 5-1 thrashing by Loughborough Students the following day.
Olton had to come from behind in Saturday’s win following a goalless first half, conceding to a goal from open play nine minutes into the half.
After battling their way to an equalising goal, provided by Tom Mallett, continued pressure resulted in Edwin Waters’ winner on 66 minutes to see off the students.
It seemed that youthful opposition twice in as many days was a bridge too far for Olton, after being torn apart by Loughborough on Sunday, despite Waters’ first-minute opener.
The visitors levelled six minutes in and then went ahead on 17 minutes from a penalty corner, a scoreline which remained the same at the break.
Loughborough counter attacked in devastating fashion to punish Olton for missing a penalty stroke, with matters being made worse by two suspensions for the hosts on the hour mark.
Two further goals followed for the students, leaving fifth-placed Olton with plenty of reason to get back to winning ways away to second-bottom City of Peterborough on Sunday (2pm).
AN EIGHT-GOAL thrashing was handed out to Solihull Blossomfield men’s first team by sharp-shooting Cannock.
The away side took full advantage of Bloss’ indiscipline, with the hosts having three players sent to the sin bin on separate occasions during a one-sided second half, en route to their 8-0 victory.
Solihull only trailed by a solitary goal at the break, but were quickly torn apart after the break, notably conceding five goals in a ten-minute spell in the West Midlands Premier match.
The fortunes of the men’s second string did not fare much better in South West One, after a 4-2 defeat to rivals Edgbaston 4ths.
Tom Armanani put the visitors in front with a composed finish at the far post, but were quickly pegged back following Edgbaston’s first attack of the game.
Harry Mowat then resumed Blossomfield’s lead, which was as good as it got for Solihull, as the hosts struck twice before half time, followed by a solitary goal in the second half, to clinch the points.
A 3-1 victory for the ladies first team was enough to see off Olton’s second string in a Midlands Division One derby encounter.
The hosts were good value for the win and created chances from the first whistle, although they had to do it the hard way after falling behind from a penalty corner.
Emma Scott struck an equaliser from open play, which allowed Bloss to search for a go-ahead goal in the second half – provided by Amelia Thompson from a short corner.
Jodie Price then wrapped up proceedings when firing home Sam Grew’s centre late on.
The struggles of Blossomfield 2nds continued after being ousted 3-1 by Khalsa Leamington 3rds in the Warwickshire Womens Hockey League.
Despite starting with plenty of purpose, Solihull trailed from a penalty corner and were chasing the game for the remainder.
With KL two goals to the good at the break, Mel Bates re-ignited the hosts with a strike in the second half.
But after a valiant effort in search of an equaliser, a third goal for the visitors put the Division One encounter to bed.
Hannah Shoreson’s first-half strike was enough to see off Olton 5ths in Division Four and keep Blossomfield 3rds top of the pile.
It means Solihull have won each of their ten games this season, and proves second-placed Olton’s first defeat of the campaign, following a match in which Bloss had to hold firm to shut out the spirited visitors.