ALDERLEY Edge Hockey Club women’s team will bounce into Saturday’s important clash with third-placed Didsbury Northern.

The opportunity to close the gap on the division’s frontrunners follows a 5-1 success at Kirkby Stephen that retained a top-half position for the team.

Under coach Kelly Pryde-Fillingham the ladies have played with much more pace and intensity this season, something which became apparent to Kirkby Stephen from the start.

Within the first two minutes Edge were awarded a short corner which was fabulously put away by Amanda Bennison from a Sarah Hopkin pass.

Shortly afterwards a trademark Liv Moores dive from another short corner made it 2-0 to Edge.

Caitlin Polley followed this up with a beautiful run through a few Kirkby players into the D and buried the ball in the bottom left corner for Edge’s third.

A sustained period of lovely passing hockey kept the home side at bay for the remainder of the first half before Annie Hebb smashed the ball into the backboard after picking up another lovely pass from Hopkin.

Kirkby Stephen must have had a tough half-time talk as they pounded Edge with a series of big hits in the second half and were eventually rewarded with a goal when Edge were not tight enough in the D.

Undeterred, the ladies picked themselves back up and Bennison finished the game as she had started it, deflecting in a wicked short corner strike from Hopkin.

Alderley Edge’s women led the way in the Cheshire League matches as well as in the North League.

The seconds took their run without loss to five games after Pheobe Gardner found the back of the net twice in their 2-1 home win over Didsbury Greys.

They now sit third in North League Division Two, just two points behind leaders Wilmslow.

Edge are also currently the dominant force in Cheshire League Division Four.

Both the fourths and fifths play in this league but it is the latter who currently sit three points clear at the top of the table having been unbeatable so far this season.

The fourths are just three points behind them in third place, their 4-1 win over Buckley on Saturday being their sixth win on the bounce.

The men’s firsts, seconds and thirds all had a tough weekend, losing their respective games against University of Durham, Brooklands’ thirds and Neston.