Women’s Hockey a Tale of Two Halves

York’s Women’s 1s battle it out against Sheffield 3s

York 1s
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Sheffield 3s

This week’s ‘game of the day’ saw the University of York 1s take on the University of Sheffield 3s at the JLD, on a bitterly cold Wednesday afternoon. York came in to this fixture having taken a win and a loss so far this season. The win was just two weeks ago away at Teeside, whilst the defeat was a humiliating 7-0 at the hands of Hull on the opening matchday.
Sheffield came flying out as the whistle signalled kick-off and had two very good chances in the opening two minutes. However, this would be pretty much the last of their attacking play for the half. York dominated the remainder of the 35 minutes, spending most of it on the edge of the Sheffield area. When the away side did offer a glimmer of hope of pushing forward, York’s defensive line was solid in comfortably removing any threat. The York 1s had endless chances to take the lead, with several fantastic runs down the wing, and some excellently worked moves that carved the Sheffield defence wide open. On top of this, they also had four penalty corners in the first half-hour of the match, but none of these could be finished off. Eventually, shortly before half-time, York took the lead. Following a penalty corner which was successfully dealt with by Sheffield, the ball was quickly played back in, catching the goalkeeper off-guard and giving York the lead they definitely deserved. The home side came agonisingly close to adding a second right on the stroke of half time after outpacing the Sheffield defence, but the away team’s goalkeeper somehow managed to keep it out.
Unfortunately, the second half was an entirely different story. Sheffield Hallam came out strongly, their half-time discussions clearly getting them fired up for the second 35 minutes. Their hard-work earned them an equaliser early into the second half. It came from some really nice link-up play, which the York defence just couldn’t quite deal with. This didn’t get the York ladies down though, and they had an immediate opportunity to regain the lead. A fantastic run down the right-flank and an exquisite ball placed directly in front of the Sheffield goal somehow couldn’t quite be finished off. The home side were to regret this missed chance, as Sheffield took the lead just a few minutes afterwards. It came much like the equaliser, with a well built-up move and some really quick movement in the final third. Still, however, the ladies continued to battle. With the men’s side beginning to warm up for their fixture, the added support really spurred them on. York had two chances to get back on level-terms, courtesy of some lightning fast runs down the left-wing. It seemed like today really wasn’t going to be their day. After one last attempt from a penalty corner, the final whistle went.
Despite squandering their half-time lead, the ladies team can certainly take a lot of positives from the result. They completely outplayed Sheffield in the first half, and if they can be more clinical at the vital times, scoring will absolutely not be an issue. From a defensive perspective, the team performed well on the whole, losing out to two arguably very well worked moves from the visitors.
Next up for the team is a trip to Sheffield Hallam on Wednesday 14th November. Hallam sit in 2nd place in the Northern 3B League, with a victory and two draws so far this season. York sit 2nd bottom in 5th place, so a win would really be beneficial to kickstart their season.

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