In the curtain-raiser to Qualifiers Weekend, Langwith beat Vanbrugh 5-3 in their women’s football five-a-side semi-final. Thanks to a brace from both Ally Miller and Ellie Yates and a goal from Molly Hawthorne in the Tent, the Heslington East side booked the first place at College Varsity in three weeks’ time.
Langwith begun in the ascendancy, with UYWAFC Firsts defender Miller robbing her Vanbrugh counterpart of possession deep in enemy territory, and finishing with her left foot for 1-0. Some skilful play from Hawthorne carved open another chance and Miller was denied her second by an athletic save from Rhiannon Roy.
Against the run of play somewhat, Kayleigh Peters issued a riposte, levelling terms for Vanbrugh from a seemingly impossible angle. At this stage, Vanbrugh grasped the nettle and managed to win many more of the 50-50 challenges in the middle of the park that tend to set up dangerous positions in five-a-side play. Savannah Green, composed in defence, marauded forward and put her team 2-1 in front from fifteen yards out.
Ellie Yates, positionally astute and able to anticipate the bounce of the ball on many occasions, secured a quickfire double to haul her team back in front and peg back Vanbrugh’s challenge. Her first was a speculative effort from the far sideboard, which caught Roy unawares and nestled in the far corner. Her second, which made it 3-2, added a couple of minutes later, saw her show great composure to slot home after Hawthorne’s cross found her at the back post. Mere seconds before the half-time whistle was sounded, Peters levelled terms and at 3-3, it was anyone’s game.
The second half was a tale of unbridled Langwith dominance. Ruby Callister had a couple of chances, firing just past the left hand post twice. The Langwith Barmy Army were out in force, doused in face paint and insistently ringing Wiz Khalifa’s ‘Black and Yellow’ from a pair of makeshift speakers. The assembled throng were aghast when Hannah Lindsay lost a tooth after a midfield melee and concern for her welfare abounded; their shock was tempered, however, when Hawthorne made it 4-3 and Miller fought off the challenge of Emily Churchill to score Langwith’s fifth and seal the spoils. They face a final tomorrow at 12:15, against the winner of James vs Alcuin, with the victor going up to Durham as York Firsts.
Vanbrugh: Roy, Churchill, Peters, Worrall, Green, Brown
Langwith: Miller, Robertson, Hawthorne, Callister, Lindsay, Yates
Man of the Match: Ellie Yates