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Coming off the back of a strong season, placing 3rd in their BUCS league, this was a fixture Lancaster’s Women’s Hockey 2nds were prepared for, despite a 3-0 loss the previous year. Being the last university match for several of the team, a lot was invested in this lunch time fixture on the Saturday of the Roses weekend.
The crowd was in fine voice and rowdy, both cheering and jeering each side. With history of trouble from the York spectators, perhaps the Lancaster supporters were slightly more confident in their insults to the opposing side, which seems the norm at most hockey matches.
Both teams were well balanced, the ball flying rapidly and pretty evenly from end to end. York got an early goal after just under 15 minutes, sliding the ball past Lancaster’s goalkeeper Cat Nichol. Lancaster played on though and a few minutes later Lancaster’s Captain Ruth Holdsworth got one back which, much to the dismay of the spectators, was disallowed by the referee. Eventually, Kimberly Paul got one back for Lancaster, lifting the ball and flying into the backboard from the edge of the D, tying the scores.
With the score remaining 1-1 at half time, the game was either team’s to claim. Two more goals were scored in the second half. One followed an impressive run by Lancaster’s Michaela Rogers, who, after first hitting the post, caught the rebound and got a second goal for the Lancaster side. Despite the Red Roses’ confidence showing on the pitch, and an impressive defensive play from the Lancaster side throughout the game, not 10 minutes later York drew equal after a defensive error and the scores were tied once again. York’s Captain described how she was pleased with the ‘great passages of play’ that were produced by her team.
Throughout both halves, Nichol was doing significantly more work than York’s goalkeeper Ellie Smith, with Nichol producing some fantastic saves including one right on the line of the goal. The York side seemed to be growing in confidence towards the end of the game, the ball seemed to remain constantly down the Lancaster end. The most tense moment of the game came with just 4 minutes to go, when York were awarded a penalty flick. Luckily for the Lancaster side, Nichol stepped up to face the ball, saving it as it came hurling straight towards the middle of the goal, the score line ending an evenly matched game at 2-2.
Both teams were pleased with their performances and pleased to both come out with points. Holdsworth said ‘I’m very proud of the girls performance today, everyone put up a great fight. It was a nice way to end a great season!’