York women’s hockey players hit four past Leeds thirds


Images: Philippa Grafton

York’s women got off to a flying start in their league campaign as they defeated the University of Leeds thirds 4-1. Boosted by a fresh intake of three players, and aided by the presence of some experienced older faces, it was an impressive performance from the home side.

It was not always an easy ride for York though as the visitors began brightly. In the opening stages Leeds threatened the home goal on several occasions before York started to create some attacks of their own. York began to control the possession, moving the ball around the Leeds half.

A touch of complacency though allowed Leeds to slip down the middle and gain a short corner. This was to prove costly as the away side converted the opportunity to take the lead. Moments later alert keeper Laura Porter was forced to produce a great block to prevent the away side doubling their advantage.

Leeds continued to attack but York intercepted the ball and created a fluent move towards goal. A long pass across the D was then knocked in from close range by Jill Mercer to level the scoring at 1-1.

From then on York dominated and quickly took the lead. In an aggressive move the first strike was saved by the keeper before Emily Lucas slotted the rebound home. This spurred York on as they stretched the opposing defence to breaking point.

After squandering chances from two short corners York’s determined effort soon paid off when club President Rachael Faustino scored after a fluent move by the attacking players to make it 3-1. Just before half time York Captain Hannah Gage had a shot on goal but a block by the away defender meant the score remained 3-1.

After the break York began aggressively and there was a period of scrambling in the Leeds half. Gage had another shot on goal but it was cleared by a Leeds defender. York continued with some fast-paced play, outmanoeuvring the Leeds defence and soon the away side conceded a short corner.

Rachael Faustino flicked a powerful shot at goal only for it to be stopped by the visiting keeper. However the alert Faustino was quick to react and knocked the loose ball home to get her second of the game and her side’s fourth. York continued to control the play as the match drew to a close with Leeds struggling to find a way back into the game.

Overall it was a solid performance from the home team who are now preparing for a crucial match against Durham.

Team Captain Gage said she was pleased with the performance, “It was a good start and the girls all played really well, working hard as a team.” She added that they will be expecting a more difficult contest against Durham, “They are a very good side and always give us a tough game so we are going to have to work hard and play well against them.” On the new additions to the team she said, “The freshers really blended well into a strong team and we all worked well together so that is great. They put in an excellent performance.”

Team: Laura Porter (Goal), Rachel McMillan, Sally Warrington, Sally Dalton, Emily Lucas, Vaila Ormiston, Hannah Gage (Captain), Imy Eldergill-Storm, Rachael Faustino, Jill Mercer, Jolie Mortley.

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