HOCKEY: WHEN a layer of Saturday morning snow covered their home pitch, Chester Ladies refused to be beaten by the elements.
Determined players teamed up with club officials to clear the synthetic pitch at the Cheshire County Officers Sports Club in Upton to make sure the first team's vital bottom-of-the-table meeting with Preston went ahead.
The team responded in style, clocking up a 2-1 victory over their Lancastrian visitors to move off the foot of the table.
Chester Ladies' first-team skipper Michelle Daltry said: 'I am so grateful to all players and club members who came down to help us clear the pitch.
'There was 'snow' way we were going to get beaten after all the hard work we put in!'
Chester conceded an early goal from a well-worked short corner, but the hosts' heads never dropped and shortly after Lucy Ratcliffe scored with a stunning diving strike from a well-rehearsed short corner.
With 10 minutes to go the game appeared to be heading for a draw - a result Chester could not afford given their perilous position in the table.
But they stole a
late winner after some strong attacking play led to another short corner.
A drag flick from Emma Harper was forced into the net by Tes Whieldon and Chester managed to hold on for a vital victory that sent Preston to the foot of the table.
The only Deeside Ramblers team to beat the weekend's wintry weather was the men's third XI, who lost 3-2 at Division Four leaders Wilmslow.
Deeside's defence was kept active by the hosts' running game but Matt Mellor and Ben Heywood were never outpaced.
Wilmslow went ahead following the first penalty corner of the game and doubled their advantage shortly after.
Phil Brown pulled a goal back for the Ramblers, who missed the chance to draw level when the Wilmslow keeper saved a penalty shot.
With just minutes to go to the half-time break, the visitors' misery was compounded when Wilmslow went 3-1 up.
After the break, Deeside turned in a much-improved display and Ed Lowe pulled a goal back with a delicate touch.