THE UNIVERSITY of York women’s canoe polo team dominated their match 9-4 to avenge last year’s 0-3 Roses defeat.
It became clear very early on that this was going to be a high-scoring end-to-end game after a goal for each side in the opening 30 seconds. At the end of the first half York had established a 1-4 lead.
The majority of goals came down the right-hand side of the pool. Lancaster’s rush goalkeeper, even with an oar at hand to block shots at goal, was left helpless with York’s players often finding room to shoot into the suspended goal from close-range.
Lancaster did reply with one successful long-range effort, but York’s organisation and formation made it hard for the home side to find space in the water. This, coupled with some great blocking in goal, meant that York took a comfortable 4-1 lead at the halfway mark.
The biggest challenge for both sides seemed to be gaining control in the middle of the pool. Collisions were frequent, making this sport reminiscent of those childhood days spent on the dodgems at theme parks.
York’s ascendancy continued in the second half, but Lancaster continued to battle; at 7-2, York were denied by an excellent goal-saving block with the use of an oar. Lancaster then managed to quickly move the ball to score, but York’s lead still seemed unassailable with just a few minutes remaining.
The most dramatic moment of the match came with 60 seconds left on the clock. Lancaster were awarded two free shots, the first of which was converted before the referee was asked “do I get another go?” The second attempt hits the crossbar and so does the follow up attempt before the player capsized. Shortly after, the final buzzer sounded to cue York celebrations.