HOCKEY: CREWE Vagrants hammered Bram-hall 8-0 on Saturday in a scintillating display of fluent passing and accurate marksmanship.
The South Cheshire side, intent on avenging a pre-season defeat and aiming to chalk up their eighth win in 10 league games, hit top form and stay top of the league.
They started dominantly, and went close on a number of occasions before James Capper converted a short corner with an angled drive to open the scoring on 13 minutes.
Scarcely a minute later, Jon Beech doubled the lead, rifling home from the right. On 21 minutes Gary Roberts' scorching shot from a short corner found the net, but was disallowed. Seconds later, Andrew Ashworth compensated with a fierce drive to put Crewe 3-0 up.
Bramhall countered briefly, forcing a fine save from Ravi Kaler, but Capper made it four on 24 minutes, and completed his half-hour hat-trick when he converted a second corner with a drag flick.
Crewe faced determined Bramhall pressure on the resumption, but defended doggedly, with Paul Lambsdale especially on top form.
Dave Holland made it six of the best when he hit home from a short corner, and he made it 7-0 as Crewe switched to cruise control.
There was time for Kaler and Lambsdale to excel in defence again before Neil Darling coolly converted a penalty flick to complete the rout.
Crewe Vagrants second team were disappointed to share the spoils with Morecambe in a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Playing on the coast, Crewe started strongly and the home side struggled to hold out. After sustained pressure, Andrew Ticehurst broke the deadlock when a perfectly placed reverse stick shot wrong-footed the keeper to make it 1-0.
A series of short corners for Vagrants culminated in the second goal, when Henry Weir hit home in emphatic style. The visitors were comfortable but the game changed when Morecambe scrambled a goal from nothing to halve the deficit at half-time.
Morecambe levelled soon after the break and looked to take control.
But Ticehurst had other ideas, as he ran the length of the pitch, beating two play-ers and holding off another two, before firing Crewe back into the lead.
But joy was short-lived and Morecambe levelled again from a short corner.
Crewe thirds were held 2-2 by Colwyn Bay seconds to register their fifth point of the season. A brace from Neil Gibbons looked to give his side the win, but the visitors levelled before half-time to complete the scoring.
Crewe Vagrants ladies first team lifted their spirits with a 2-1 win at Northern.
Keeper Cassie Warren made a string of excellent saves to keep the score at 0-0, before Shez Tomkinson rounded the Northern keeper to give Vagrants a half-time lead.
Crewe conceded an equaliser with just 10 minutes remaining, but Kim Jones pounced on the points just before the end to secure the win.
It was a sister-act for the ladies second team as they defeated Runcorn 6-1 at Willaston on Saturday.
Player-of-the-match Becky Crowther-Green hit a double, as did sister Sarah, who was playing in just her second match.
Helen Cray and Alice Whalley got singles each, while Natalie Stevenson was outstanding in defence.
Meanwhile, Crewe thirds were slaughtered 8-0 by Chester College.