Once in a while in life, everything just falls into place.
This was the case for UYWAFC on Friday night, who opened Roses in staggering style with a 7-0 victory over a Lancaster side that were utterly eviscerated in their own backyard.
It was 90 minutes of sheer elation, of which every second was meted-out as a reward for the time and dedication committed to building up the infrastructure of Women’s Football, often against the odds, at this institution over a number of years.
The stars of the show were the two hat trick heroes; captain Alisha Miller and substitute Romy Fernandez Reumann, but the individuals so invested in the dizzying rise of this team must and will take their place in the firmament.
Although the opening goal didn’t come until late in the first half, there wasn’t a moment in which York were not fully able to dictate the tempo of the contest.
The first 20 minutes went by in a flash but not before talisman Anty Cole had registered two shots on target.
Club President Sophie Jermy, taking a place on the substitute’s bench due to injury, said in advance of the game that, despite the big stage, her side would do everything in their power to play their natural game.
The incisive nature of their attacking, no-nonsense approach to distribution from defence and emphasis on width, all of which burned bright throughout, attest to their ability to do just this.
Incoming Club President Meg Anderton sparkled down the left wing and whipped over a fine cross for Miller, who flicked over her right shoulder at the near post to extract a save from Lancaster’s keeper.
A further Anderton centre was almost turned into the back of her own net by a Lancastrian defender and from the subsequent corner, York were thwarted by a double save including a sprawling stop to deny Cole once more.
Miller gave the White Rose a lead in the 42nd minute when, advancing down the right flank, she lifted a shot that arched over the keeper, seemingly hanging in the air for minutes, and nestled in the bottom right corner.
To stymie any sort of revival, Miller doubled her side’s lead after the interval. Working well down the left, she avoided being crowded out with some neat footwork and wasn’t daunted by the tight angle from the left hand side as her well-struck low shot hit the inside of the right post and went in.
Last year’s game ended 2-2 and York must have been wary of a riposte but none was forthcoming as the visitors forged on.
Miller sealed her hat-trick with a stunning effort from 25 yards that looked destined for the very top left corner the second it left her boot, to make it 3-0 as she wheeled away and cupped her ears to the dwindling Lancaster support.
Anty Cole made it four from the top of the box with a typically powerful low shot that the keeper was simply unable to field to her left.
With Cole picking up a knock, coach Sam Gevaux introduced Jermy and Reumann from the bench. Little could he have anticipated the effect that these changes would make, particularly in the case of the latter.
Reumann was played through into the box and was strong enough to fend off a challenge and slip a shot under the keeper’s body for 5-0.
She then picked the ball up in a pocket of space outside the box and fired home for the sixth. To complete the treble, Reumann slotted supremely into the bottom left, running the length of the pitch to celebrate with a visiting support delirious at their team’s display.
The Men’s Football team took part in the opening ceremony at the last away Roses and will have been disappointed not to have had the chance again.
On Friday night they were watching with the rest of us, in rapture to the skill on show throughout and chanting the names of York’s heroines.
With roles reversed and hashtags put to one side, that’s about as good as it gets.