Men’s hockey firsts taste defeat in season opener

UNIVERSITY OF YORK 0-2 DURHAM UNIVERSITY SECONDS

Two goals from James McCarthy consigned York men’s hockey firsts to defeat at the hands of Durham seconds in their first match of the season. Despite their best efforts the visitors controlled possession for much of the encounter as York struggled to make an impact on the match.

The hosts were on the back foot early on as Alfred Merrick found his way in behind the York backline as Durham piled on the pressure with a series of short corners. York struggled to retain possession as they found themselves penned back in their own half.

The breakthrough came in the 25th minute after James McCarthy turned home a low cross from the left as Durham made their possession count.

The visitors’ ball retention helped take the sting out of the game as York pressed for the equaliser it took a good save from Sam Harriman to prevent Durham doubling their lead.

With half time approaching York were caught on the counter as George Richards saw his shot well saved before Durham raced down the other end with McCarthy adding his second.

Captain Henry Meller and Leo Watton nearly combined to reduce the deficit before Richards fired wide from a short corner as the hosts found themselves 2-0 down at the break.

York returned to the field in a determined mood as they forced Durham onto the back foot with a series of short corners.

However it was the visitors who came closest to adding to their lead as they saw the ball come back off the bar and only some last ditch defending prevented Niall Kelly getting on the score sheet after a well worked move.

A great reaction save from Harriman denied Durham a third as they controlled much of the second half play.

Despite York’s best efforts, they struggled to break down the visitor’s defence and succumbed to defeat in their season opener.

York Captain Henry Meller was full of praise for his side’s display at the final whistle, but felt Durham’s early season exploits had helped give them the edge. “They were a well drilled unit with four weeks pre-season under their belt,” said Meller. “On a positive note I am very happy with how the Freshers settled in but we are not used to playing as a team. We tried to really force it when I think we needed to take our time and build from the back, but other than that I thought we played very well.”

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