UNIVERSITY OF YORK SECONDS 1-3 UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS FIFTHS
BUCS Northern Conference 5B
Images: Philippa Grafton
The men’s hockey seconds were unfortunate in losing 3-1 to Leeds’ fifths side today.
Despite a fine balance to the match, Leeds were simply more incisive than their opponent in their use of possession, and York will feel aggrieved to have lost a match that they certainly could have won on another day.
From the outset, conditions did not seem ripe to provide an entertaining game.
A heady climatic cocktail of bitter cold, wind and rain had descended on the JLD, causing difficulty for players and sports writers alike.
The first half was a little insipid, with genuine incidents of interest few and far between.
Although the game began in an open and energetic fashion, the two sides remained deadlocked in the middle of the park for the majority of the half.
Dougie McAteer had a low snap shot saved well by the Leeds goalkeeper, whilst another opportunity was caused by a dangerously poor backpass from a Leeds defender, with the keeper reacting rapidly to boot it away.
Towards the end of the half York ramped up the pressure, forcing some excellent saves from the Leeds keeper.
The pick of the bunch was an astonishing reaction save from Sam Unsworth’s point blank drive at goal.
After a goalless first half, the game finally showed the energy that it had earlier promised.
Leeds emerged much brighter, forcing early saves from keeper Dong-Oh Shin.
During their spell of pressure, they finally broke the deadlock, after the ball was crossed with pace into the area.
This superb ball found a Leeds attacker at the far post, who swept home.
York responded well to this score, forcing a panicked goal line clearance from Leeds.
And they looked to have equalised when McAteer flicked home from a tight angle, but this was controversially ruled out by the umpire, who saw ball-to-foot contact
Undeterred, York continued to search for that elusive goal, with Simon Murphy finally striking gold.
After Harry Bercis fired the ball into the area from long range, Murphy took full advantage of this brilliant pass, gently dinking it into the net.
This tied score did not last for long however, as Leeds soon grabbed their second.
Keeper Shin was only able to get a foot on a drive arrowed into the area, and, to York’s despair, the resulting deflection was turned in from close range.
Although play was balanced, Leeds still looked the likelier of the two sides to score.
After a desperate York clearance, Leeds did score their third, a final nail in the coffin to York hopes.
A well-worked move from a penalty corner was poorly dealt with by the York defence, who remained absolutely static despite the threat.
The Leeds attacker took full advantage, flicking the ball composedly to the net.
Captain Alex Alonso looked exhausted after such a trying match, saying, “We had quite a few missed opportunities. I thought we played the better hockey, we were just a bit unlucky.”