York suffered a heavy defeat in the Men’s Handball Firsts, losing 20 points to 9.
Beginning to rapturous overtures from the travelling support, York matched their opponents blow for blow in the opening exchanges. Lancaster took an immediate lead, only to surrender it seconds later. York replied to two quick goals from Lancaster with one of their own, but soon succumbed to Lancaster.
The Red Rose established a five goal lead, scoring with alarming regularity and ease. York took a time-out in an attempt to regroup and disrupt Lancaster’s rhythm. A rare crack in Lancaster’s otherwise miserly defence gave York a penalty throw and, after an emphatic conversion by Ioan Polenciuc, a glimmer of hope at 8-3.
York appeared more passive while protecting their own goal. Lancaster were allowed space in which to operate, which they exploited efficiently and frequently.
Four more goals without reply put the White Rose 12-3 down at half-time; only wasted opportunities and some smart saves from goalkeeper and captain Jason Loveridge prevented the deficit from being insurmountable. 18-8.
The restart provided no respite. Despite an early goal, Lancaster instantly rediscovered their devastating rhythm from the first half. Each of York’s attempts at a comeback were instantly rebuked, with Lancaster responding to each of York’s breakthroughs with goals of their own.
The White Rose’s main source of goals came when Polenciuc was able to assert his physicality. However, all too often, this was stifled by Lancaster’s unyielding defence.
Lancaster had the chance to move to 20 with a penalty, but an attempted fake throw from the Lancaster player was read by Loveridge, who saved the actual attempt well.
Symptomatic of the match, York’s joy was brief and Lancaster registered their twentieth goal in the final meaningful move of the match. Despite their positivity in adversity, during half-time and time-outs, York’s efforts went unrewarded. Revenge will be the plan for next year and, regardless of the score, York showed enough ability to suggest that revenge is very much a possibility.