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I became an indoor hockey convert at last year’s Roses. The sheer intensity and pace of the game was incredible to watch, not to mention the courtside atmosphere. It’s a pleasure to say that this year was no different. The men’s 2nd team were first to take to the stage, cheered on by general punters and the members of the hockey squads due on court shortly after.
This positive home crowd definitely proved an advantage, as Michael Holmes rifled home two early shots, including one screamer into the corner. Lancaster were on a roll, as York struggled to get out of the blocks. But this early pressure was negated by the end of the half, as the white rose nabbed two goals in reply to come in, perhaps undeservedly, level at the break.
Lancaster’s early half pressure was repeated in the second segment, as Kelvin Knight put Lancaster ahead again. All this lead meant though, was that the home side had to weather the Yorkshire storm for the rest of the match. York’s relentless attack was evident with flashes across goal, and excellent saves by Lancaster keeper Robbie Kaiser.
Amidst the York wave, Lancaster did bundle the ball in the goal once, but this was ruled out by the referee, much to the frustration of the sports centre. York’s continued offensive display was finally rewarded with minutes left, as a goalmouth scramble led to a short corner. This short corner somehow led to another corner, as York clipped the post, but the second time they were not so inaccurate.
It seemed destined that the game would end in a draw. Although Lancaster were arguably the better side throughout, York’s attack was just too much to repel. The last minute was typical hockey action, neither side wanted to go home without a win. Not for the first time, Lancaster had the ball in the goal, but the referee correctly pulled this back for an infringement. Committed by York.
Holmes had a straight penalty to end this game, and he made no mistake in punishing York’s ill-discipline. Quite literally this was the last action of the whole game, and the crowd erupted to celebrate a 4-3 win for Lancaster. The reason I’m a hockey convert, and you all should be too.