Last gasp winner sends battling women’s firsts through in Cup

BUCS Northern Conference Cup

Images: Agatha Torrance

In a gritty Yorkshire derby York’s women’s hockey players eventually won out over a stubborn Sheffield Hallam side, thanks to a last minute Rachael Faustino goal.

In beating a side placed a division above them, York can now look forward to a good run in the BUCS Northern Conference Cup.

The start of the match suggested an open game was to come, with both sides looking to push the ball into the wide areas.

But with a fine balance to play there were few early incidents, with the exception of a green card for a York infringement.

Throughout the half, both sides refused to buckle under attacking pressure, meaning that chances were few and far between.

A Laura Welsing shot was knocked off the line by a Hallam defender after a long corner, whereas Laura Porter in the York net needed to pull off a good save to keep out an effort from Hallam’s creative force Fearnley.

Both sides were missing a much needed clinical edge, with the ball being easily cleared every time it closed in on the D.

As the half time whistle blew, the score remained goalless, with the only talking points the amount of petty infringements committed by both teams.

The second half finally saw the ball in the net, as Imy Elgergill-Storm pushed in from the short corner.

Unfortunately for York, however, this was ruled out after another infringement in the penalty box, with the umpire asking for a retake, upon which York could only force a save from Hallam’s keeper.

Silly fouls continued to make appearances in the match, with the referee finally snapping, sending a Hallam player to the sin bin for overly aggressive play.

But even with a one man advantage, York were struggling to make headway against a well organised team from Sheffield.

A penalty corner to York almost resulted in a goal, but the ball just eluded the reach of Rachael Faustino.

After a couple of close Hallam chances, York looked to have a certain goal, but the ball again was deflected away.

The game seemed to be drifting inevitably towards extra time, but a York heroine finally stepped up to the plate.

This was Rachael Faustino, who slapped satisfyingly home at the far post after a skewed shot reached her from a penalty corner, inspiring elation on the side-lines.

With two minutes to go, York had enough in tank to easily close out the game.

Captain Hannah Gage was delighted with her side’s performance, stating “It was a great game, the girls all played really well against a strong opposing side.”

Next week it’s back to the league for this York side, and, after winning three on the trot, victory is starting to look like an addictive habit for this well-drilled team.

York Team: Porter, Warrington ,Hayward, Ormiston, Eldergill-Storm, Gage (C), Welsing, Faustino, Hateley, Mercer, McMillan, Beresford.

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