UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 40-43 UNIVERSITY OF HULL FIRSTS
Images: Philippa Grafton
Despite pushing Hull extremely close in the last quarter, York ultimately came away with nothing in a pulsating encounter.
With a large and buoyant crowd witnessing this Varsity finale, the match for the most part was tightly contested. It was a dominant Hull performance in the second quarter that decided the match, but in this loss, York can take pride from their showing against a team two divisions their superior.
The match began in some style, reflecting the quality of the two rival sides. Fast paced and open, play was generally even all over the court with neither side able to pull away decisively. Hull went into the first break with a slight 15-14 lead, but all present were aware that everything was still to play for.
Hull began to show a greater intent at the start of the quarter, playing with the quality confirming their higher division. The scoring threat they offered had definitely improved, with domineering goal shooter Laura Mumford in top form.
She was well supported, however, with excellently precise passing into the D which York found difficult to counter. The White Rose looked to be feeling the pressure, as Hull were intercepting their loose passes time and time again. Hull dominance was such that they built a nine goal margin in this quarter alone, taking a 29-19 score-line into the half time break.
York tried to respond to this blow at the start of the third quarter, but were only enjoying slight success. Hull were matching them point for point, their defence continuing in their disciplined and organised play. York’s problem was reaching the D, the midfield running out of ideas. The shooting of Amy Moye and Georgie Neblett was continually strong, but they enjoyed only limited opportunities.
The fourth quarter arrived with the score-line at 38-28. This margin looked impossible to reduce at the start of the quarter, particularly as Hull were still pressing the space well.
York, however, finally came into their own, going on a superb scoring run. Neblett was in electrifying form, netting chance after chance. The atmosphere in the sports tent was extremely tense, with both sets of fans attempting to buoy their teams to victory.
However, despite an extraordinary effort, York were unable to overcome the odds, with the match finishing 43-40 to Hull.
Captain Becky O’Dwyer was delighted with the toil of her team, stating, “I literally couldn’t be more proud of the girls. They’ve all put in 100% effort. To make up seven goals in a quarter, it’s really unheard of. Everyone played their best today, what more can I say!?”