YORK THIRDS 4 LANCASTER THIRDS 6
In 2008 a last gasp Hockey equaliser dramatically decided the outcome of the whole Roses tournament. When the Men’s Hockey Thirds saw their fixture scheduled last on Sunday, with one solitary point available, they must have each dreamt of similar glory. Alas, with York’s impressive weekend display, this match fell into obscurity – it’s only significance being to decide whether the University won by 115 or 116 points.
Yet it was to prove a fantastic spectacle for the large and vocal crowd that decided to watch. York’s Hockey club has supported every fixture on the Astroturf with genuine passion, and today they were treated to a game that had goals, come-backs, cards, penalties and the infamous ‘Latham’.
It all started fairly seriously. Lancaster applied pressure on the home side’s goal but York played the more attractive Hockey- Matt Brown looking excellent in midfield. York’s best chance came when Brown found himself clear on the right. He passed to Hugh Richards in the centre, who missed his shot. Lancaster were the more clinical, and within 20 minutes were two goals up, both scored with impressive shots from the edge of the shooting circle.
York looked stunned- they had genuinely looked the better side in the opening stages. Lancaster were content to play ugly and tackle hard. In a poor period for the visitors, they saw three players temporarily sent from the pitch with yellow cards. York tried to use the man advantage and had numerous chances, but at half time they were undeservedly two goals behind.
Roses reserved it’s most chaotic half of sport to its latter stages, as all logic disappeared out of the game. As Lancaster converted a dubious penalty early after the restart, York’s crowd turned their attention to the opposing team. Many barely noticed as Lancaster got their fourth – they were too busy causing grief for Lancaster’s bearded number 33. One of the many visitors who hadn’t endeared himself to the support, the midfielder, who was later revealed to be called Latham, was heckled unreservedly whenever he went near the ball. Claims that “even his own team didn’t like him” were never denied by his unsympathetic colleagues and his attempts to fight back were, frankly, embarrassing. One almost felt sorry for him, particularly as he was unable to stop it from affecting his already poor play.
Yet the game was to take another twist, as further aggression from Lancaster gave York a penalty flick. Dan “Red-Hat” Foreshaw, after being made to re-take, pegged one back and the crowd erupted.
Soon after Lancaster had made it 5-1, but even sooner after it was back to 5-2. No one seriously expected a comeback and York began to showboat – something usually done by the winning team. Captain Adam Phillips’ cute triple bounce on his stick was not appreciated by the Lancaster defender who decided to tackle him violently. His second yellow card earned him a permanent place off the field and, when Maarten van Shaik scored from the resulting short corner, York began to play with increased energy.
Mohit Dutta drove home brilliantly to put York within a point and for a moment it looked like there would be an incredible turnaround. Unfortunately Lancaster regained their concentration and beat keeper James Robinson for the sixth time. With five minutes remaining, it was not all over but the pace slowed and, despite good work from Phillips and Richards, the score finally stood still.
Both teams looked reasonably content at the end with Phillips saying it he was “very happy with the second half, particularly as we’ve only played one game all together.” He added that his team “had received no cards to their three.” He was correct, Lancaster got the point but York won the moral victory.
York: Adam Phillips (c), Gordon Harrison, Ben Scott, Matt Brown, Richard Morton, James Robinson, Don Rodwell, Sam Mason, Clement Sun, Jonny Lis, Maarten van Schaik, Mohit Dutta, Hugh Richards, Ben Rogan, Dan ‘Red-Hat’ Foreshaw.