Indoor men’s hockey firsts storm to victory

York’s indoor men’s hockey firsts thrashed Lancaster 7-2 in the Tent on the Friday of Roses

University of York
Lancaster University
Image: James Hostford

Image: James Hostford

Last year, away at Lancaster, the indoor men’s hockey firsts silenced the crowd with a 8-4 victory. So, it might be slightly shocking to hear that they also silenced the crowd this year, this time with a 7-2 victory.

Playing in a home Roses, yet surrounded by a sea of “I Am Lancaster” supporters, the White Rose put in a stellar performance, led by Leo Watton, who scored four goals.

In such a high scoring match, the first goal came incredibly early on and it was Watton who scored it. Having received the ball on the left wing, Watton cleverly turned inside of his defender and wisely pushed the ball under the Lancaster keeper to give York the lead.

York’s tactic of pressing high up the pitch from the first second paid dividends. They looked more eager to win the ball than their opponents and it was one of the main reasons behind their excellent performance.

After the first goal, the match became increasingly frenetic as both sides looked to edge ahead of one another. However, it was York who scored the game’s second goal. After a Lancaster player appeared to deny a clear cut goal scoring opportunity with his foot, Watton stepped up to the subsequent penalty flick and powered home to give York a 2-0 lead.

York’s third goal came shortly after Watton’s converted penalty flick. Alex Bond made a steady run down the right wing and pulled back a lovely ball for Watton, in which he had taken the pace off. Watton deliberately left Bond’s ball to allow it to run onto Phil Ratliff at the back post who finished nicely to give York a three goal lead.

Harry Oakley added a fourth on the stroke of half time. Having received the ball, Oakley neatly shuffled past a Lancaster defender before sliding the ball right under the keeper’s pads to put York in a commanding position. As the half time whistle blew, the Lancaster dominated crowd were left somewhat deflated after seeing their team fall 4-0 behind.

Within ten seconds of the restart, York had found a fifth goal. Watton picked up the ball on the right wing and after driving towards the Lancaster defence, pushed the ball straight under the keeper to make it 5-0 to the White Rose.

Shortly afterwards, York had a sixth. Bond fired a nicely weighted pass into Ratliff on the right, who subsequently applied a tidy finish and the ball sailed past the Lancaster keeper, signalling that there was no way back for the Red Rose in this particular match.

York’s seventh and final goal of the game involved the scorers of York’s previous two goals. Ratliff, on the right wing, fired a powerful, yet inch-perfect pass to Watton, which took out the entire Lancaster defence in the process. Watton, in acres of space and with plenty of time, merely walked the ball into the goal at the back post, bringing up his fourth goal of the day.

Lancaster managed to a couple of goals back before the final whistle. Their first goal came as a result of a penalty corner, the ball was played into the top of the D to their striker, who applied a simple finish past Callum Chaundy in the York goal.

The second goal came as a result of a Lancaster breakaway. The ball was quickly fired up field into the stick of a Lancaster player on the left wing, after controlling the ball, the Lancaster player struck a powerful shot past Chaundy to bring up the Red Rose’s second goal of the match. Despite the late Lancaster goals, York’s dominance was reflected in the final score of the match, which finished 7-2 to the White Rose.

York: Chaundy, Ratliff, Watton, Bond, Butler, Oakley, Blackburn, Sherrington-Scales.

Man of the Match: Leo Watton

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