UNIVERSITY OF YORK 14
UNIVERSITY OF HULL 3
Wednesday 14th October – BUCS League 1B
There were no surprises to be witnessed on 22 acres this afternoon, as York men’s lacrosse team ran out comfortable 14-3 winners against a poor Hull University outfit in their first BUCS fixture of this year.
Before the game, Captain and goalkeeper Benedict Robinson was in a confident mood, confessing to “a few pre-game nerves” but still looking for “a good win”: Not surprising as Hull were last year’s whipping boys, scoring only 12 goals all season and finishing bottom with -2 points due to a succession of walkovers.
York’s expected dominance was apparent from the outset, and Hull did not touch the ball for the first five minutes of the game. Indeed, it should have been five or six nil before the deadlock was finally broken in the seventh minute when James Menon scored a nerve-settling long range effort.
Hull’s massed defence had not answers against the prolific York attack on Wednesday. Photograph by Justyn Hardcastle.
From then on it was one-way traffic; powerful midfield player Luke Shilling consistently won possession at the ‘face-off’ that followed each goal, and by the end of the first quarter York had a commanding 5-0 lead, the pick of the goals being a classy backwards over-the-shoulder shot from Krishna Balan – a trick he utilised twice to great success. The sheer volume of shots and prolonged pressure from York meant that the course of the fixture was already inevitable.
Hull’s only glimmer of hope in the first quarter had been a scrambled goal that was disallowed, but in the second period they came out fighting and were rewarded with a breakthrough of their own, a stylish goal that came after a lengthy period of pressure. The introduction of a skilful new midfielder had shaken York, but one player was not enough to turn the tide and the casual class of Menon and Balan proved too much for Hull, with a half-time score of 9-1.
York have now scored 28 goals in two matches this season in all competitions. Photograph by Justyn Hardcastle.
After the interval the match degenerated into a tedious pattern of attacks and counter-attacks that had no end product; York had become lazy, and Hull were frustrated. With neither team making headway Hull resorted to targeting star player Balan, which resulted in a series of fouls and sin-bins for the visiting side. However, York’s superiority still told and they picked up three more goals during the quarter, the highlight being another long range effort from Menon which struck the roof of the net.
The match finished disappointingly for York. Hull finally found some continuity and were rewarded with two late goals, matching York’s tally for the quarter. After the final whistle, Robinson seemed delighted, describing it as a “great result” and “building block for the season”. The end of the match left a sour taste, however. A lack of physicality in the game, combined with some debatable defending raises the question of how this side will do against the better teams in this league. It was three points in the bag, but there are many problems to be ironed out.