Hartlepool United Ladies produced one of their most powerful performances of the season on Sunday as they blasted twelve unanswered goals past Castleford White Rose at Dyke House.
Top scorer Caitlin Bates helped herself to a third hat-trick of the season, while Lucy Hammond-Garrington also hit a treble during a thoroughly dominant display from Andy Stuart’s side.
The result was never in doubt from the moment Bates slotted home the opening goal from close range after good work down the right from Chelsea Basnett with just five minutes on the clock.
It got better for Pools on 11 minutes when the unplayable Jess Dawson cleverly broke the offside trap to go through on goal before unselfishly squaring the ball for Jade Pye to make it 2-0.
A minute later more superb play from left winger Dawson saw her drive past the defender on the edge of the box and this time she picked out Basnett in the middle to make it 3-0.
Midway through the first half Pools grabbed a fourth goal; this time Bates bravely charged down an attempted clearance and ran on to the bouncing ball, brought it under control and clinically slotted it past the keeper at her far post.
Just after the half-hour mark it was 5-0 when left-back Faye Garside drove inside superbly and picked out a lovely cut back for Pye who took a touch to steady herself before unleashing an unstoppable shot in to the top left-hand corner of the net.
Castleford were left reeling and they conceded a sixth goal six minutes before the break as Dawson again did the hard work on the left before feeding a ball in to Bates who saw her shot hit the inside of the front post and rebound across the line to Basnett who gleefully converted.
There were just nine minutes gone in the second half when Pools got back on the scoresheet when Pye played an incisive through ball to Dawson who struck home a deserved goal to make it 7-0.
Hammond-Garrington had only been on the pitch three minutes when she scored the eighth goal for Pools, turning in a cross from fellow substitute Hannah Lambert just after the hour-mark.
It was 9-0 on 64 minutes when Dawson made a nuisance of herself in a challenge on the edge of the box and the ball ran kindly for Hammond-Garrington to rifle it in to the net for 9-0.
Hammond-Garrington completed her hat-trick with ten minutes remaining in the game when she headed home a precise corner from the experienced Jenny Duffy-Smith, who provided a steadying influence for Pools on her return from knee surgery.
Not to be outdone, the ever-impressive Bates completed her treble a couple of minutes later after Hammond-Garrington’s effort came back off the post to the feet of the 21-year-old to make it 11-0.
And six minutes from time Lambert rounded off the scoring with a twelfth goal for Pools when she found space on the right edge of the penalty area and drilled a low shot past the keeper at the front post.
The victory kept Pools third in the North East Regional Woman’s Football League Premier Division but cut the gap on second-placed Norton & Stockton Ancients to just two points.
“I was really pleased because with the bad weather recently it’s been a bit stop-start and we haven’t been able to get that consistency or levels of fitness,” admitted boss Stuart afterwards.
“We’ve set the target to win every game between now and the end of the season to see us finish as high as possible in the table and today’s result is the first step towards that.
“I think the subs had an impact when they came on today and a couple of them got goals too so that’s really pleasing as well.
“We didn’t have a recognised keeper today but Jo Hurrell has stepped in and done well and we’re delighted to keep a clean sheet because we’ve not been doing that enough in games this season.”
Full Time: Hartlepool United Ladies 12 Castleford White Rose Ladies 0
Pools: Hurrell, Rackstraw (Bartlett 46), Stuart, Robinson, Garside, Basnett (Lambert 58), Rowbotham (Ingram 58), Duffy-Smith, Dawson (Bates 66), Pye, Bates (Hammond-Garrington 58).
Photos: Jon Palmer.