Late comeback too little too late for James

College Varsity 2014

Two goals from Christ Butterworth and one from Declan Hall were not enough to claim victory for James College in the Varsity hockey firsts match. A strong performance from York in the second half put a late comeback one the cards but it was too little too late for the home side.

The JLD was buzzing with anticipation for the clash between York’s best college hockey team and Durham’s equivalent in the form of Hatfield. It was not long, however, before the anticipation turned to fighting spirit as James were put onto the back foot from the offset. An early goal slipped passed Ben Johnson into the corner, which set the tone for the rest of the half.

A beautifully executed ariel ball from a Hatfield midfielder into York’s 25 allowed Durham to double their lead. Keeper Johnson was put under constant threat but pulled off many great saves with lightning reactions to keep James in the game. York however managed to compose themselves and finally penetrate Durham’s half of the pitch. After a scrappy short corner for York, a penalty flick was awarded to which Chris calmly pulled a goal back.

Unfortunately for York, Durham moved up a gear and it was not long before they stretched to score-line to 5-1. James continued to battle on, with Guy Holden and captain Oliver McGaw at the back defending well, and were responsible for keeping the score as low as it was.

The second half was a different story with a revitalized James College coming out with all pistons firing. The illustrious Nick Mitchell was unlucky to not convert any of his chances as he interlinked beautifully with Tim Silcock. Chris Butterworth never failed to impress when he became on the ball, causing problems all over the pitch, setting up the strikers with some pinpoint accurate passes.

In the latter stages of the match with the crowd behind them, it seemed like James might may make a comeback, dominating the possession and many chances. It was not meant to be this time, as Durham held on till the end.

Some poetic interlinking play between Joss Winter and Butterworth led to his second goal, which was soon to be followed up by a reverse stick goal from Declan. It, however, was too little too late as the final whistle blew to signify James’ defeat.

Speaking after the match, captain Oli McGaw told Nouse: “It was a good effort and we played well in the second half. A great game to play in against a great opposition.”

Player of the match: Guy Holden

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