UNIVERSITY OF YORK 1-0 LANCASTER UNIVERSITY
A composed and classy performance from York’s women hockey firsts saw them gather four Roses points in fine style. The Black and Gold always maintained a level of control over their ill-disciplined Lancastrian opponents throughout the contest, and their eventual victory, through Izzy Hutchinson’s first half penalty flick, was richly deserved. Lancaster, meanwhile, finished the match with 9 players.
The first half saw a cagey opening period to proceedings, with little attacking play to mention. Lancaster enjoyed the first genuine chance of the match, after one of their forwards gracefully carved her way through the York defence before firing low. Her shot, however, was just beyond the post of a relieved Black and Gold keeper.
Despite this effort, play was generally congested in the middle of the park, marking the beginnings of an interesting tactical contest. Both sides struggled to break through obstinate defences, with possession around the D extremely limited. A raucous atmosphere had developed on the sidelines amongst the fans of both teams. York’s vocal efforts did appear to better the Red Rose, a testament to the enduring powers of a special offer crate of Budweiser and a loud-hailer.
A piece of attacking play from York led to a panicked Lancaster foul on the goal-line, with the umpire awarding a penalty flick. Izzy Hutchinson stepped up, and composedly smashed low beyond the stretch of the Lancaster goalkeeper, to the delight of the fans. York continued to step up the pressure on their opponents, but the half-time whistle blew before they managed to further extend their lead.
The second half featured more play around the D, with both sides enjoying early penalty corners. Both, however, came to nothing. York’s defence were in superlative form. A later Lancaster corner saw Sally Warrington well-positioned to push the ball off the line, averting a certain goal, whilst Laura Porter in the York net booted a reflexive Red Rose shot clear. Captain Sally Dolton led by example, putting in a great tackle and clearing under intense pressure from Lancaster attackers in the area.
After this slight spell of Lancaster domination, York began to push back in search of a second goal. Izzy Hutchinson dribbled deftly through the Lancaster lines, winning a penalty corner in the process. A resulting Katie Penrose shot drew a good save from the Lancaster keeper. Two more penalty corners followed, although these were well-defended.
At this point, Lancastrian frustration began to tell. Unusually, a substitute earned a red card for abusing the umpire, meaning that Lancaster had to remove a player from the pitch themselves, playing the rest of the match with 10 men.
York now began to dominate in the final stages, with Vaila Ormiston charged through the Lancaster ranks on a determined run before firing low just beyond the post. The final action of the game saw a Lancaster player sin-binned for an illegal knock-back of the ball.
In the end, this was a well-earned victory for a professional York side. Captain Sally Dolton was delighted with her team’s display, telling Nouse, “Our best victories have always been one nil. Throughout the match, everybody kept their heads and nobody lost their cool. Really well done to Izzy Hutchinson for the penalty flick as well.”
York: Porter, Dolton (C),Warrington, Hutchinson, Mercer, Ormiston, Williamson, Hartley, Beresford, Mason, Penrose.