LANCASTER 2-9 YORK
York’s women’s water polo team ended their season in style, recording a 9-2 thrashing of their Red Rose opponents on Saturday night.
The UYSWC women faced a stronger Lancaster side than the one they demolished 19-1 in the BUCS Cup in March, but still finished as reasonably comfortable winners, with York Sport talisman Louise Highton the star of the show once again.
The atmosphere at poolside was every bit as hostile as the White Rose would have expected, but it didn’t take long for the cries of ‘Yorkshire, Yorkshire!’ to drown out the vociferous home crowd.
In a rampant first quarter, York’s women raced into a commanding lead. Captain Hannah Carter led from the front with a very early goal, with Gilly Jago doubling the Black and Gold’s advantage shortly after.
A long-range shot that squirmed beyond the fingertips of York goalkeeper Yasmeen Jhons briefly brought Lancaster back into the game, before Rachel Wood picked out Carter again to place a shot into the top corner.
The first quarter would end at 4-1, as Highton grabbed her first of the match, though the Lancaster keeper would have been disappointed to concede again having got a strong hand on the shot.
For the seven minutes before half-time, it was virtually all one-way traffic. Beth Richards and Highton both hit the post for a York side that were cutting Lancaster apart at will, and their dominance was soon reflected further on the scoresheet.
A stunning finish on the turn from Highton after receiving the ball with her back to goal made it 5-1, and she completed her hat-trick before half-time for York’s sixth.
The perpetually furious Lancaster coach tried to bring his team, and the stunned home crowd, back to life and had some joy as they shut out York in the third quarter.
The home side struggled in front of goal though, fluffing their lines when a couple of big chances came their way, only managing to net once during their best spell of the match.
Normal service was resumed in the final quarter, however, as Highton took her personal tally to five. Two typically composed finishes, the first a delightfully floated effort over the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner, laid to rest any faint hopes of a Lancastrian comeback.
And it was left to Fiona Whiting to have the final say, breaking down the right and unleashing an unstoppable shot to confirm York’s superiority.
A delighted Hannah Carter told Nouse afterwards, “It was a fantastic result. The girls played with integrity, which at times I’m not sure out opponents quite matched. It was a well-fought game, and I’m really pleased that the girls came through against an improved Lancaster team. I’m so proud of them, what an end to the season!”
York: Jhons, Highton, Simmons, Kry, Peacop, Buonacorsi-How, Richards, Hall, Chidwick, Wood, Carter (C), Jago, Whiting.