UNIVERSITY OF YORK FIRSTS 16 – 2 LEEDS METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY SECONDS
BUCS NORTHERN 2B
York men’s lacrosse firsts continued their push for promotion to Division One with a convincing win over fellow title contenders Leeds Metropolitan seconds on Wednesday.
The two teams took to the pitch on a 22 Acres strafed by piercingly cold winds, both intent on gaining the crucial 3 points to push them closer to the top of the table. The game began with York dominating possession early on, despite the best efforts of their opponents. Using the momentum gained from this positive early start, York carried the ball deep into the Leeds half and were able to slot away their first goal after some brilliant team play. This was rapidly followed by a good run from Sam Pick who fed the ball to Daniel Ball. Ball easily slammed the ball past the Leeds keeper to double the home side’s advantage.
The Black & Gold continued to pile the pressure onto the visitors, creating another three chances within quick succession. However, these were deftly stopped by the skilled Leeds Met keeper. The opposition seemed unable to cope with the continued pressure though, with Ball finding the back of the net once again. Keeping the initiative in York’s hands, Andrew Thomas then made a well-aimed pass which found Ball once again, allowing him to put away his side’s fourth goal of the match.
At this point Leeds were able to finally take meaningful possession of the ball and threaten the home side’s half. This proved to be fruitless however, as the York defence put them in check through the remainder of the quarter with George Balmford showing no lack of skill in stopping any shots which the opposition did manage. This left the quarter to end at 4-0 in the home side’s favour.
Taking back to the pitch, York made it clear that they were intent on continuing the form of the first quarter as a startling early assault allowed Ball to get yet another goal with barely any time elapsed. The early cracker was followed up by yet another goal for York in quick succession, giving them a healthy six-goal lead. York’s last major chance before the end of the second quarter was a shot by Theo Paquet, which was deflected away by the Leeds Met keeper.
With the home side’s two early goals of the quarter, and their continued dominance of the match, Leeds Met seemed to grit their teeth and gain a better footing once more. However, the skill of the York defence meant that they were unable to find the back of the net before the end of the second period of play.
The third quarter began in a much similar vein to the second for York, with Pick taking possession of the ball from the away side; he skilfully offloading this ball to Thomas, leading to York’s seventh goal of the day. The pattern of play continued along these lines, with a cheeky shot from Ball providing the Black & Gold with their eighth, before beautiful pass work between Tom Beetham and Josh Illsley allowed in Andrew Chalmers to secure York’s ninth.
Leeds Met’s goal drought was to end at this point however, as York found themselves with an opposition player unmarked in a perfect position for a shot. He received a pass from his team-mate, and capitalised to secure the West Yorkshire side’s first goal of the game. York were determined not to be disheartened by the denial of their clean sheet, and proved they were still the dominant side as Chalmers cleanly brought York’s score into double figures before the end of the third quarter.
In the final period of play, York continued their trend of early goals, with Thomas putting away the eleventh from the first move of the quarter. Leeds Met responded by pushing into the home side’s half, but were once again unable to find a weakness in the defensive line. Despite the valiant York defence, a determined opposition side continued to press with shot after shot and were finally able to sneak one past Balmford to bring the scores back to 11 – 2.
Retaking possession, York responded to Leeds Met’s push with two wonderful moves in quick succession which culminating in Chalmers scoring the twelfth and thirteenth home goals of the game. As York kept on the pressure, this was followed up by another from Thomas and yet another from Chalmers, before Balmford swatted away the away side’s last attempt of the match. York then slotted away their last goal, leaving the end result at a cracking score of 16-2 to the Black and Gold.
Speaking after the game, captain Greg Markes told Nouse; “I’m feeling really good after that game; we played a slightly tougher opposition today but I’m really pleased with the way we played as it was a physical game. Our attacking especially was superb. It bodes really well as we’re looking for promotion. We have a few more games ahead of us and we have promotion in our sights”.
York: Beetham, Balmford, Pick, Illsley, Thomas, Chalmers, Ball, Kosek, Markes (C), Steele-Moore, Harris, Paquet
Man of the match: Tom Beetham