James College completed a sensational second-half comeback, securing three points for York leading to a 7-6 victory over John Snow being sealed in the dying seconds on the Crumb.
James, competing as York seconds, delivered a superb display of team spirit and application which defied their short time together as a squad. Led by the stellar efforts of Connie Shaw and Andy Monyard, they gradually wore away Durham’s resistance and helped to cap off a generally positive morning for the Black and Gold.
In the first half, John Snow were the dominant side and found it fairly easy to launch penetrative attacks into James territory. Perhaps, the calming influence of UYLC President Claire Thomas would have been useful in the midfield in these frenetic early stages, captain Laura Carruthers was left largely isolated in defending the onrushing hoards. Connie Shaw replied to their two early goals, feigning past two defenders and dropping an effort cutely into the top-right hand corner past the protective net which, in the absence of designated goalkeepers, played a crucial role in the rhythm of the game. It forced both sides to stitch together developed attacks and drive to the net, and Andy Monyard profited from this by slotting home a wraparound effort for 4-3 which gave James heart going into the interval.
After the break, it was an end-to-end affair with both sides spending periods in the lead. John Snow were always one step ahead but James matched them neck and neck, with Connie Shaw tying the scores at 6-6 after receiving a blow for her troubles.
While trying to cajole Shaw, an obnoxious Durham player, wearing a Go-Pro on his front, threw his stick up to intercept her pass and bludgeoned himself just above the eye, drawing blood in the process. However, it was Andy Monyard had the last laugh, however, when his fleet of foot allowed him to make it 7-6 and to hand James victory.
Captain Laura Carruthers commented: “From around the halfway point of the first half, we started to build momentum and I was hugely proud of the fighting spirit we showed to stay in the game and eventually be there to win at the end.”