Women’s hockey prevail on penalties

BUCS Northern Conference Cup

Images: Ewa Tarnowska

The women’s hockey firsts came out on top in an epic encounter with Durham this afternoon, winning 2-1 on penalty flicks to progress into the next round of the BUCS Cup.

The score at the end of normal time was 2-2, goals from Izzie Hutchinson and Emma Beresford ensuring York forced extra time, before the penalty drama.

There were few chances to speak of in the opening stages, as Durham controlled much of the possession but were largely unable to create anything meaningful.

York’s first purposeful attack of the game saw Katy Penrose have an effort well saved, with Beresford unable to get to the rebound.

Just a minute later, York fell behind, as the visitors broke upfield and managed to squeeze a shot under onrushing keeper Abbie Craig.

And midway through the first half, Durham doubled their advantage. A scramble in the D ultimately saw the ball fall to a Durham forward just a yard from goal, and she had the simplest of tasks to score.

The situation was looking dire for the White Rose at this stage, but they grabbed a lifeline on the stroke of half-time. From a short corner, the ball came to Hutchinson and she buried the shot to reduce the deficit going into the break.

The second half began with Durham on the attack once again, but York soon rediscovered their attacking rhythm and forced a couple of short corners.

With time ticking away, York bagged an equaliser. The ball was fired into the D and deflected kindly into the path of Beresford, who reacted instinctively to score.

The hosts were then indebted to Craig, who made a couple of important stops before the full-time whistle to ensure York forced extra time.

The extra 15 minutes passed without much incident, other than a York penalty corner that almost crept in.

Durham mounted a late charge for victory, but were denied time after time by a resolute York defence that had given everything to the cause.

On to penalty flicks, and Craig gave York a great start, producing two saves down to her right to deny Durham. Kristen Roberts put her flick just out of the keeper’s reach, and captain Sally Dolton scored what proved to be the decisive flick, hammering a shot low into the corner.

One final stop from Craig sparked jubilant celebrations from the home side, who had secured a place in the next round with their first win of the season.

Dolton was understandably delighted with her side at full-time, saying, “I am incredibly proud of the girls. They fought right until the last minute and I’ve never seen them try that hard and run that fast before. That was our best performance all season, you can tell it was our first win and against a really tough team – and we did it with style. I’m really happy.”

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