An entertaining second half saw all of the game’s five goals, as Vanbrugh secured their position as York firsts for College Varsity against Goodricke. Two goals from Seb Harwood and a clever finish from James Swash meant that two efforts from Goodricke’s Alex McDonald counted for little in the end.
The start of the first half brought with it a subdued pace, both teams looking seemingly happy to have qualified earlier in the day. The slow pace did not stop some moments of quality – Vanbrugh’s Watters setting off on a particularly impressive run down the left.
Both teams had penalty corners to try and break the deadlock, but both were equally as profitable as the game limped to half time with the neither team on the scoreboard.
The second half seemed like a completely different game. The days previous exertions appeared to matter little, with the game flowing from end to end and both teams looking impressive going forward.
Vanbrugh took the lead early on in the second half thanks to a clever piece of improvisation from James Swash. Watters struck a speculative ball into the Goodricke area. The ball looked to be going harmlessly wide, but Swash had carried on his run and stretched out his stick to divert the ball into the back of the Goodricke net.
Goodricke’s Merriman, who also looked impressive in the previous game against Alcuin, nearly levelled for his side, striking a ferocious shot which sailed past the Vanbrugh post.
The Hes East side pulled one back soon after. A well worked penalty corner came to Tara Annison whose shot went into a crowd of players and fell kindly for Alex McDonald to score his first of the afternoon and make the score 1-1.
However, Goodricke were not level for long. Vanbrugh skipper Rory Blight fed Watters, whose ball through found Warren Rosseau. Rosseau ran down the line, pulled the ball back for Seb Harwood who, with plenty still left to do, turned and reversed the ball into the back of the net to restore his sides lead.
Harwood would add his third soon after. A well intercepted ball was then passed to Harwood, who beat his marker on the outside and rifled a shot across Jeffs in the Goodricke goal to send Vanbrugh two goals ahead.
Goodricke’s McDonald would grab a consolation for his side at the end thanks to an admirable display of perseverance. A ball through looked to be trickling slowly towards Tabas in the Vanbrugh net, but McDonald had seen an opportunity and ran in undetected to give himself a simple finish and give his team a glimmer of hope with minutes remaining.
Unfortunately for McDonald, the whistle went moments later and Goodricke were consigned to defeat and a place as York seconds at this year’s Varsity.
Vanbrugh: Tabas, Graham, De Gray, Blight, Bader, Lennox, Watter, Harwood, Mackenzie, Swash, Rosseau
Goodricke: Mitchell (C), Merriman, Annison, Murray, McDonald, Kemp, Cuthbertson, Gilks, Grieve, Thorne, Wilkinson, Bancroft, Jeffs, Witham, Taylor
Player of the match: Seb Harwood