UNIVERSITY OF YORK 6-7 SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY
BUCS Northern Conference 2A
Images: Agatha Torrance
The men’s lacrosse firsts suffered a disappointing defeat against Sheffield Hallam in their first match of the new term, losing 7-6.
The team battled against some fierce competition from the Sheffield side, but seemed unable to muster the confidence to see them to victory.
The two teams played vastly different games, with the physically imposing Sheffield side taking a strong and aggressive approach, countered by York’s swift and agile handling of the ball.
The first quarter started with a quick goal by Sheffield. But York were back level soon after, as vice-captain Chris Menon took possession after the restart and gave the ball to Andrew Chalmers who scored York’s first and set the tone for the rest of the quarter.
Sheffield then retook the lead, but thanks to some daring play from the York attackers play returned to the Sheffield end of the pitch, leading to a goal by William Chun, which was followed up by another from Chalmers in a frantic scramble in front of the net.
The first quarter saw York play well in attack, keeping Sheffield on the defensive. However, when Sheffield did occasionally break through York were let down by a weak defence who were lax in chasing up the ball and marking the opposition. Despite this, York finished the quarter ahead at 3-2 and in good spirits.
The start of the second quarter saw play turn progressively more aggressive. Sheffield were determined to turn the score around, and did so, scoring twice to make the score 4-3. York fought back, also scoring twice, aided by Menon and Chun’s agile handling of the ball. York’s Billy Rooks was then forced to produce a great save, keeping the scores level going into the break.
York seemed to lose their confidence in the third quarter though, ceding ground and appearing unwilling to get involved in Sheffield’s increasingly violent tackles, as the away side went ahead once again.
The Sheffield goalie was a force to be reckoned with, repelling attempts to score with disdain, and occasionally cradling the ball up and beyond the defensive area. A time-out boosted the team’s self-belief, with Josh Isley storming up the pitch in an attempt to score in the last 30 seconds of the quarter’s play.
But going into the fourth and final quarter York appeared shaken in confidence. However, a goal in the first couple of minutes, again from Chalmers, steadied the attackers. Spirits were further improved by a great save from Rooks, who single-handedly snatched what looked like a sure-fire Hallam goal.
Sheffield retaliated hard, working closely together to inch into a more substancial lead with two more goals, and although York were able to pull one more back it wasn’t enough for the obviously exhausted hosts.
Afterwards, York coach James Agar told Nouse: “I am so disappointed in today’s result. We were the better team, and we deserved to win this one.” He went on to say how much the team had improved from last term, learning from their mistakes, and how this match should have been theirs.