York women’s hockey firsts continued their impressive start to the season by beating Leeds 3rds to progress in the Northern Conference Cup.
Both teams made a bright start, pressing high up the pitch and with the intensity expected in a cup tie. Despite the promising start, the two teams struggled to make a breakthrough. Slowly but surely York started to assert themselves, and began dominating the proceedings. Some smart work from Captain Katie Penrose earned her team a penalty corner, which was saved well by the Leeds ‘keeper.
Despite their grip on the game, York did not have it all their own way. Leeds looked dangerous on the break, and won themselves a penalty corner. However York defended as well as they attacked, and any danger was quickly averted – Isabelle Hutchinson and Laura Atkinson breaking up Leeds attack with aplomb.
York struggled to make the most of their penalty corners, but eventually got the breakthrough from their fourth of the first half. The ball was worked well from left to right, and came to Penrose who past the Leeds ‘keeper.
On the cusp on half-time, York doubled their lead. With York bearing down on goal, the Leeds ‘keeper saved well with her feet but the ball dropped kindly for York forward Polly Sedgwick with the goal at her mercy, and she made no mistake to put York two up before the break.
Upon the restart, Leeds came flying out of the blocks. They came out inspired, and their pressing paid dividends, forcing York into playing a poor background which was instantly seized upon and despatched to halve the deficit.
Leeds almost immediately restored parity, when a well worked penalty corner came a Leeds forward who lifted the ball well through a sea of bodies and into the back of the net.
York were not left regretting their missed chances for long, when Penrose linked up well with Forward Minerva Saner who won a penalty corner. York’s set piece play worked wonders, allowing Lindsay O’Brien who fired a low shot towards the corner and finding the net via the boot of an unfortunate Leeds ‘keeper.
From then on, chances were few and far between, Katie Penrose coming the closest with a blocked shot.
Despite their attacking fluidity, York had their ‘keeper, Liz Furber, to thank at the death. Leeds played a diagonal ball forwards which found its way to the back post and a Leeds player 2 yards out. Furber threw herself in front of the ball and denied the opposition a certain equaliser.
Skipper Katie Penrose spoke Nouse, and was pleased with the cup win. “It was good to get a first win in the cup. It was a good team performance, and the new players and freshers gelled well.”
York Squad: E. Furber, A.Young, I.Hutchinson, L. Bird, A. Woodruff, L. Atkinson, H. Warrington, K. Penrose (C), L. O’Brien, P. Sedgwick, M. Saner, H. Page, R. Mason, R. Cordingley.
Player of the Match: Lindsay O’Brien