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NORTHERN men’s first XI returned to winning ways on Saturday after a thrilling 2-1 victory over local rivals Liverpool Sefton.

Determined on doing the double over their local rivals and returning to winning ways, Northern started the game at an almighty pace and with real quality.

The team in sky blue from Moor Lane regularly bypassed the Liverpool Sefton’s midfield and were camped in the opposition’s final third for long periods of the game.

Northern deservedly went ahead after Adam Batty diverted the ball home from a Will Beeching drag flick.

Northern again went close when Alex March was denied by the Sefton goalkeeper and skipper Anthony Symondson struck the post. However Northern continued to dominate and got a deserved second goal when Thomas Pfeiffer found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper who he rounded coolly before slotting the ball home.

Confidence was high and Northern started the second-half pushing for more goals.

However, Liverpool Sefton were showing greater resilience and putting up more of a fight.

Both sides had chances to score, but thankfully for Northern there was only one goal in the half.

It was a penalty stroke for Liverpool Sefton, but it wasn’t enough and the game finished 2-1 and a well-deserved victory for Northern.

Coach Andy Halpin could not hide his delight.

He said: “I asked the players to make a real statement today and start getting the wins we deserve.

“The first-half was some of the best hockey I have seen from us in a long time and everything really came together. We were under pressure in the last five minutes but real credit to Alex Daly and the defence for staying switched on and ensuring they had an answer for everything that was thrown at them.”

NORTHERN men’s second team suffered a disappointing 4-0 loss to local rivals Formby on Saturday. The seconds found themselves 3-0 down at half-time after two unstoppable short corner strikes from Formby’s Phil Capper and conceded a third after some poor defending.

After the break, Northern seconds did play a little better but could not break down the experienced Formby defence.

They conceded another goal after some well-worked play from a strong Formby side.

Next week they have an away fixture against Mossley Hill.

IN their first game on the new Northern Pitch, Northern’s third XI were back to winning ways against Golborne.

The excess of sand on the pitch made it difficult for both teams, with passes not travelling very fast or far, but Northern seemed to cope best with this challenge.

Golborne were put under pressure throughout the opening half and finally succumbed to a strike from Brendan Kenny.

In the second period, Northern were looking to put away the game after a frustrating series of attacks which did not produce any goals. The final nail in the coffin for Golborne came through a majestic strike by captain Jonathan Highlander.

It was a good start on the new pitch.

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