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Having just witnessed the women’s seconds suffer defeat to York, the men’s firsts were out to avenge and claim victory for Lancaster.
The conditions couldn’t have been better; it was warm, dry and sunny and Lancaster were back on home soil, looking to outdo last year’s impressive away draw. We were in for a cracking game.
After a slight delay in kick-off due to overrunning of previous games, the game was underway and immediately we were treated to some impressive showboating by a York forward, keeping the ball up three times on his stick and swinging a teasing ball in, but leading to nothing. York began the game with a high back line, setting the tone for the game; York were coming to attack.
York’s early dominance almost saw them take the lead on a number of occasions, and if it wasn’t for Lancaster goalkeeper Matt Davis the early dominance would have prevailed, and the score line may have been even harsher on Lancaster. As the first half wore on, Lancaster showed some skill of their own, winning a few penalties and forcing a few good saves of their own. A thrilling encounter led to a beautifully poised stalemate at half-time.
York appeared to come out with a different game plan in the second half, as they were happy to sit back and counter attack Lancaster, which led to an early penalty in York’s favour. The heroic Davis was unable to keep out the shot following a good passing move and York had the breakthrough.
As the game wore on, Lancaster attacked valiantly and forced plenty of penalties and goalbound efforts, but all to no avail as York defended well and restricted the home side to only half chances. You could feel that an equaliser for Lancaster would have given them the momentum to go on to grab a winner. York feared this too, so defended deeper and deeper. Frustration for Lancaster and desperation for York kicked in late on, forcing the officials to show 3 yellows in quick succession, two for York and one for Lancaster.
As the game drew to close, you could sense that there was another goal was coming, and unfortunately it went the way of York following another swift breakaway, knocking the confidence out of the Lancaster boys who had gave so much to find that elusive equaliser. The whistle went, and the game finished 2-0 York. A harsh score-line, yet a performance which Lancaster can be proud of.