Hockey firsts hit Sheffield for six

BUCS Northern Conference Cup

Images: Philippa Grafton

The men’s hockey firsts romped to a comfortable 6-0 win in their BUCS Cup match with Sheffield fourths this afternoon.

Goals from Laurie Torrington, Dougie McAteer, Leo Watton, Phil Ratliff and a double from Kris Siva ensured the White Rose had a simple path into the next round.

Watton and Torrington both went close in the early stages of the match, denied on both occasions by the Sheffield keeper, but the visitors were well and truly in the game at this stage, especially after York captain George Richards went off with a hamstring injury.

York goalkeeper Callum Chaundy was forced into a brave stop to deny a Sheffield forward clean through on goal, but York would soon assert their dominance.

After peppering the Sheffield goal with shots, the pressure finally told as Torrington scored with a well executed drag flick from a short corner.

It was 2-0 just moments later, another short corner this time left to Watton, whose drilled effort was deflected in by McAteer.

Even at this early stage it seemed that the game was effectively over as a contest, and even more so as Siva added York’s third from close range just before half-time.

The pattern of York dominance continued after the break, the home side creating chances at will and content to toy with their opposition.

A fourth goal came courtesy of Watton, who danced through a series of challenges before rounding the keeper and tapping into the net.

Ratliff added a fifth, largely down to some skilful play from the returning Henry Meller, who beat his marker and unselfishly passed to his teammate to knock it in at the far post.

The tie had largely descended into an exhibition match for the home side, though a couple of heavy challenges from Sheffield showed that they were still up for the fight.

With 20 minutes still to play, York made it 6-0 thanks to Siva’s second. Hugo Christie twice fired the ball powerfully into the D, and Siva managed to squeeze a shot under the keeper at the second attempt.

6-0 is how it would finish, but in truth York could have easily widened their margin of victory had they seen fit. Watton and Meller in particular were obviously in a class above their opponents, perhaps most effectively demonstrated through an outrageous cross-field pass from the former that somehow found it’s way through a cluster of players.

At full-time, York skipper Richards, who watched the majority of the match from the sidelines, said, “It was a little bit scrappy at times but we did show some patches of good play.”

Watton, who took over the on-field captaincy duties, added, “It was a sporadic performance which, in the end, turned into an exhibition of ego boosting which was good for morale. But it probably wasn’t the best fixture for us, because you’re only going to get better by playing against the top teams.

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