HOCKEY: WINNINGTON strengthened their Cheshire League championship challenge at Sir John Deane's College on Saturday.
They were full of confidence against the leaders and were boosted by an early goal from player-coach Chris Davies with a close range swivel shot off a penalty corner.
Brooklands' frustration because they failed to control the game led to a deliberate foul in the circle and Rosie Fields converted the penalty.
In the second half Park faced a difficult first 10 minutes as Brooklands started to show their class, reducing the arrears.
However, Karen Thwaites, with an assist from Leona Trimble, scored a magnificent third goal to seal victory and cap a fine individual display that earned her the player of the match accolade.
Park 2nds were away at Runcorn and produced an excellent performance to win 3-2, with goals from Jo Cash, Lizzie Chambers and Nicole Jackson.
Although Runcorn fought valiantly Park's superior aggression, in what was a competitive and sometimes scrappy match, made the difference. Player of the match was Nicola Brocklehurst who was superb in midfield.
Oxton 2 Winnington Park 1
WINNINGTON'S men lost for the third week running, but had to travel to the North West Counties League leaders without five regulars on Saturday.
They matched Oxton but were not good enough to exact more than a moral victory. Park played the game tightly and advanced via well-constructed moves rather than the long ball or breakaways.
As the half wore on their policy seemed to be working. They were in no apparent danger of conceding and within 20 minutes they took the lead through the stick of the rejuvenated Mark Leigh. Much of Park's comfort was achieved through the synergy of John Stackhouse, Craig Rogers and Andrew Jackson.
The wheels came off an hour into the game when the midfield trio were opened up. The loss of Craig Rogers and Robin Bowden gave the room that an accomplished Oxton needed to equalise and then take the lead.
Shrewdly they realised that even a depleted Park were still a potent threat and therefore they closed the game down.
Park host Northern on Saturday.