HOCKEY: CREWE Vagrants' men continued their climb up the North League Division Two West table after a strong second-half display helped them to a 5-2 win at Macclesfield on Saturday.
There was little to separate the teams in the first period, but Vagrants took the upper hand after the turnaround with three fine strikes helping them claim the points.
After Andrew Ashworth had gone close in the opening exchanges, Dave Holland fired Vagrants into a seventh-minute lead with a fierce effort from a short corner.
Steve Bourne, James Capper and Chris Lawton were next to threaten the Macclesfield goal but the home side survived the pressure and drew level in the 16th minute following a clinical short-corner routine.
Both sides put their opponents under pressure before Macclesfield went ahead for the only time in the game when a stinging shot across goal was touched in eight minutes before the break.
But Vagrants ended the half on terms with Capper converting a similarly dangerous cross from close range.
After the interval, Vagrants emerged revitalised with Holland and Nick Marshall driving deep into home territory. And from Crewe's second short corner of the half, Bourne restored the lead when he reacted quickly to net a rebound.
Ravi Kaler made an excellent save as Macclesfield attempted to regain immediate parity, but Vagrants stretched their lead when Holland lashed in a powerful drive in the 44th minute.
Kaler made a fine diving save and Graham Heath and Paul Lambsdale needed to make important defensive contributions as the hosts looked to claw their way back into match. But Vagrants wrapped the game up six minutes from time with a fine effort from Lawton.
Macclesfield's resolve was not broken, however, and Kaler was called upon to make two more excellent stops in the closing stages.
Vagrants, now up to ninth, will be looking to further improve their standing when they host bottom club Cheetham and Heywood this Saturday (1.30pm).
Vagrants seconds went on a scoring spree against a St Helens side yet to win a game in the North West Division Four this season. The Crewe side ran out 8-3 winners with Adam Borrie hitting a hat-trick, Graham Cooke and Andrew Ticehurst bagging braces and Rob Jepson also on target.
The thirds also enjoyed a good win as they saw off Oxton fourths 4-2 with Paul Owen netting a treble and Steve Douglas the other.
On Saturday, the seconds visit Nelson and Rossendale seconds and the thirds make the trip to Chester thirds.
Vagrants ladies suffered a heavy 7-1 defeat against Poynton in their North Feeder League clash while the seconds were held to a 2-2 draw by Runcorn. Dionne Johnson and Alison Smith were the Vagrants scorers.
The firsts host Preston this Saturday while the seconds entertain Neston thirds.