In a rare York highlight on a testing first day of Roses 2010, the White Rose scooped ten out of a possible twelve points on the dry slopes of Rossendale. It should have been more, but comfortable wins in the mixed and ladies skiing were somewhat tempered by a controversial draw in the snowboard event.
With York packing away their equipment believing they had repeated last year’s clean sweep of the points on offer, Lancaster appealed the results of the five relay-format races and secured a deciding run. They duly won to earn a share of the spoils in what was clearly their strongest discipline. The flag judges at the finish line, essential to indicate that a competitor had completed their descent in order that the next could start, were provided by Lancaster, and this proved a bone of contention all afternoon.
The opening race set the tone, called a photo finish draw as York’s much-decorated boarding ace Marlies Neuner reeled in a Lancaster competitor who had slipped badly approaching the final gates. The second contest was even more contentious as this time Neuner, York’s final leg throughout, stumbled when approaching the finish. Lancaster were awarded the win following extensive deliberations, though the White Rose quickly levelled the scores and then pushed ahead. With the four available points seemingly in the bag, however, Lancaster’s dubious appeals were heeded and York, perhaps lacking the mental discipline in the unexpected play-off decider, were forced to settle for a tie.
The skiing events were never in doubt as York’s superior technique and experience shone through constantly. The ladies wrapped up their quartet of points in double-quick time, winning the first three races to claim an unassailable lead in the best-of-five contest. Tactically astute, York sent talented skiers Steph Campbell-Woodward and Louise Cotrel-Gibbons down the slope first, ensuring an easy run for the others.
The away side were similarly dominant in the mixed events, which were also concluded rapidly. Dave Tee, James Lodge, Emily Scott et al wasted little time in demonstrating their superiority over their Lancaster opponents and thoroughly deserved their swigs of lager when a clinical 3-0 win was assured.