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Day two of the Roses saw both Lancaster’s first teams in indoor hockey take to the stage with the news at the time that Lancaster were leading overall.
At two o’clock, York’s first team in women’s Indoor Hockey began their game confidently, appearing far more comfortable with the ball than the jittery side of Lancaster. Despite York’s good start, Lancaster took the lead in the fifth minute – after neat and tidy play down the flanks, Lancaster’s number 1, turned and shot swiftly into the bottom right corner. Lancaster’s lead only lasted a couple minutes, however, as York began to dominate the game with number 77, in particular, showing exemplary passing and control. With Lancaster seemingly anxious with the ball and missing too many of their penalty-corners, York turned their commanding possession into goals, netting two before half time.
With the score at 3-1, Lancaster got stuck into the second half, going close on several occasions, including number 23’s strike that rattled the post. Shortly after a goal-line scrap in front of the Lancaster goal, the away side’s number 21 struck an excellent pass off the wall to number 3 who instantly swiveled to score. Shortly afterwards, number 21 scored the goal of the match with a high shot into the top left corner putting Lancaster on level terms. Lightening almost struck twice when number 21 repeated the exact same move, only this time the ball was saved by York’s keeper. However, Lancaster’s chances of a comeback went no further and it was York who finished the game strongly, scoring the winning goal two minutes from time – number 7 dragging the ball from the right wing into the bottom left corner. York’s almost added another before the end, but that was the end of the goals with the final score at 4-3. A fair result in the end, with the white rose gaining a much needed two points, at the time.
Although, the Lancaster’s women may have lost, the firsts indoor men’s hockey match did not disappoint. York made a rampant start to the game, camping inside the opposition’s half, hardly giving Lancaster a sniff of the ball. Within the first couple minutes, York’s captain both won and then missed a penalty in amazing fashion – having had to retake the penalty and in doing so hitting the post – to the delight of the Lancaster fans who ridiculed his ludicrously high shorts. However, Lancaster’s luck did not last, for York were flawless throughout the first half. Number 17 rampaged through Lancaster’s defence and was clinical in his finishing – scoring the first (rounding the keeper) and third (dribbling three players then finishing) goals giving defender, Hollis, a torrid time in the process. York added a fourth from a penalty-corner – nutmeging Lancaster’s keeper before it went in. At 4-0, York looked destined to notch up another two points in indoor hockey. However, Lancaster’s Abell gave his team hope with the last play of the first half – a lovely finish from a penalty-corner to make it 4-1.
With roles reversed, Lancaster’s second half performance was little short of brilliant – in particular the performances from Crich and Hollis. Crich not only dribbled through York’s defence for fun but also scored two goals to make it 4-3. The first – an easy tap into the empty net , the second – involved a superb run and finish as Crich rounded the keeper at least twice before netting the ball. Lancaster’s Hollis, who had a turbulent first half , turned his performance around in the second half, constantly helping his side in the attack, contributing an assist and an equalising goal. With the scores level at 4-4, the game ended in dramatic style, as Lancaster took the lead for the first time through Abell’s well-taken shot. Almost instantly from the restart, however, York’s captain (remember the shorts?) hit back to level and finish the game in what turned out to be an incredible match.
Although Indoor hockey was a numerical disappointment, on the face of it, with only one point from a possible four, both Lancaster’s teams can be proud of having put up a good fight against their York rivals. The men’s team in particular can be proud of being involved in an awesome display – coming back to gain a point, even when they could have easily taken all two. Both Lancaster’s teams provided great goals and great entertainment on Friday afternoon, contributing well to the opening sporting spectacles of this year’s Roses tournament.
David J. Walker