York sweep up football points

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With little to play for due to York’s unassailable lead by early Sunday, the Roses last events saw Lancasters men and women take York on in football. Paying for pride, Lancaster’s women’s firsts kicked off at one o’clock with hopes of closing the Roses in dramatic style.

However, the women’s football was a one sided affair with York dominating from start to finish. That said, despite York’s domination, the hosts made it hard for themselves by missing a hatful of chances, especially in the first half. Within the first five minutes, York’s Stewart almost converted from a nice pass by centre-forward Hooks and should have scored another, after a delightful run down the left wing. Shortly afterwards, York’s centre-midfielder, Milner, almost scored a spectacular opener – controling and volleying the ball just past the top corner. A few minutes later, Milner again went for the spectacular, this time hitting the woodwork with a excellent shot outside the box. Milner, as well as Ballentyne (captain – who dictated the indoor football match) and Pugh, were superb during the match: effortlessy controling the almost non-existant Lancastrian midfield. However, York failed to finished their chances, and it was Lancaster who opened the scoring against the run of play, with the help of Williamson and a scrappy smash and grab finish. Lancaster pressed on with striker, Smallwood, trying her best up front despite struggling to find help from her team mates at crucial moments.

Despite the set-back of going behind, York pressed on in search of a goal in the second half more than ever. Lancaster eventually succumbed to York’s pressure mid-way through the second half, as striker Hooks, who had missed a hatful in the first half, latched on to a loose ball and slotted it expertly into the corner. Two minutes later, York took the lead with an almost identical goal – again Hooks was on hand to find the bottom corner. In spite of Lancaster’s brave efforts to get back into the game – and Lancaster’s fans singing “Lancaster la la la laaa” – York held on to clinch what should have been a comfortable victory. With Lancaster’s women’s losing, it was down to the men to restore some pride for the red rose.

However, the final sporting event of the Roses saw York and Lancaster play out a disappointing display to the remaining fans – loyally standing in the Yorkshire rain. Despite the initial quick tempo of the game, the beginning of the first half had very little to offer other than messy midfield scraps and the occasional link up play from Lancaster’s Newton, Hannity and Baines. Striker Newton managed to stop the fans from dozing off completely with a couple of half chances later in the half – one shot tipped wide and a header comfortably caught by York’s number one – however it was nothing the fans expected.

The second half was a slight improvement, if only because York began to compete in the final third managing to create some chances in the process. The deadlock was finally broken when York’s number eleven scored a simple tap in, resulting from a free kick that Lancaster failed to clear. Lancaster almost equalised immediately after the restart, when York’s keeper dropped the ball in front of striker Newton who could not finish in the melee of players that packed the box. York’s clumsy defending continued for a short while resulting in a penalty when number 18’s tackle from behind, brought down Lancaster’s Hull. The subsequent penalty was taken by Newton and wonderfully saved by York’s keeper – going down sharply to his left to push the ball away. To add insult to injury, three minutes later Lancaster’s captain, Low, did his team no favours by being sent off for dissent. This only galvanized the home side who went on to counter attack Lancaster and gain a penalty themselves five minutes later. By far the most exciting period of the game culminated in York missing their penalty too – this time the ball was struck woefully sky high over the bar. In the dying minutes, York effortlessly defended their 1-0 lead from a depleted Lancaster side, bringing the Roses 2011 to an uninspiring close. York’s additional two points gave them a total score of 176.5 – a whole 72 points more than Lancaster’s total of 104.5.

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