Lancaster Women’s Hockey 2nds fall to York opposition

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Lancaster 0 – 4 York

An entertaining clash in the Women’s Hockey 2nds ultimately resulted in a well-deserved victory for the York team in the 2012 Roses tournament.

On a fine afternoon it was the away side that set about creating the early pressure, securing a series of short corner opportunities within the first 10 minutes of the contest, interspersed by occasional onslaughts by the Lancaster side. It was from one of these short corner routines that Lancaster goalkeeper Caroline Cropper produced the first of a string of smart saves, and indeed it would be hard to argue against the belief that Cropper was Lancaster’s outstanding performer on the day.

Nonetheless the home team eventually succumbed to the incisive York attack for the first occasion 11 minutes in, a neat move originating from the right wing eventually being turned in by Harriet Mills.

In the period that followed Lancaster’s play improves significantly, with the action swinging from end to end, but both teams seemed to lack that decisive touch. However, with nine minutes of the half to go, Lancaster received a sucker-punch to their ambitions as Tamsin French made it 2-0 to the visitors.

The second half played out largely in the same vein as the first, despite the fantastic work ethic of the home side, no doubt motivated by the fiercely vocal and supportive crowd at the sidelines.

A harsh yellow card was awarded to Lancaster’s Claire Hockaday five minutes into the second half of play, allowing York to build on the momentum they had created previously. A series of short corners in quick succession failed to produce a successful result, but after 15 minutes York eventually scored their third, and Mills’s second.

Immediately afterwards Lancaster built up some of their best attacking pressure in the match forcing a series of short corners and goalscoring opportunities, but the knock-out blow was delivered nine minutes from time when York took an unassailable 4-0 lead thanks to Nat Montezuma.

There was still time for some highly effective defensive play from the red roses, Gemma Higlet clearing on the line and Cropper again providing some crucial blocks, but, perhaps suffering from the absence of a couple of team regulars, Lancaster received no rewards for their play as York picked up the two points on offer.

Lancaster captain Harriet Nicholls stated that it had been an enjoyable contest. “It was a good game and our team worked solidly together,” she said.

York’s unbeaten streak in this fixture stretched to a third successive meeting.