Caitlin Bates fired her second hat-trick of the season as Pools Women’s Team inflicted a 6-3 NERWFL Premier Division defeat on second-placed Harrogate Town at Grayfields on Sunday.
The 22-year-old was in blistering form once again following her return from injury and put Pools in front with just three minutes gone when she broke through on goal to finish calmly.
Pools controlled proceedings after that, knocking the ball around with authority and playing at a high tempo which caused problems for their newly-promoted visitors.
On the half-hour mark it was 2-0 when Bates let fly with a powerful drive from the left-hand side which proved too hot to handle for the keeper who spilled it in to the net.
However, there was a sloppy start to the second half from Pools which allowed Harrogate to pull a goal back within two minutes of the restart and gain a foothold in the game.
Pools managed to regain their composure quickly though and re-established their two-goal lead just prior to the hour-mark when Hannah Lambert was in the right place to keep up her excellent scoring start to the season.
Just two minutes later skipper Justine Robinson got in on the act when some lovely football sent her through one-on-one with the keeper and she kept her cool to slot home easily and make it 4-1.
Bates completed her treble on 63 minutes with another ferocious strike from distance before Town grabbed another goal back when they took advantage of some hesitant defending.
Lucy Hammond-Garrington then climbed off the bench to score a sixth for Pools with ten minutes left but some tired legs in the closing stages allowed the visitors to make it 6-3.
“I was really happy with the performance,” boss Craig Devon admitted afterwards.
“The speed with which we played going forward was particularly pleasing and you can see the players are really starting to trust each other’s ability.
“We can forgive some tired legs near the end given the effort everyone had put in to the game but I think we can still learn from the goals we conceded.”
The victory saw Pools move fifth in the table and just six points behind leaders Durham Cestria with a game in hand.
Full Time: Pools 6 Harrogate Town 3
Pools: Smith, Bartlett (Stabler 75), Garside, Lambert, Hampson (Portas 55), Duffy-Smith, Robinson, Rowbotham (Ingram 60), Pye, Dawson, Bates (Hammond-Garrington 62).