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Lancaster came from behind to secure an incredible five-set victory in what was surely one of the highlights of Roses weekend.
Lancaster went into the game as underdogs, not least because York won this fixture in straight sets last year. However, it was obvious from the get-go that a repeat was not on the cards. Lancaster led 8-1 at the first time-out, although York regrouped well to reduce the arrears to 8-6. The visitors never surrendered their lead though and took the first set.
The second set was a different story though and this time it was Lancaster who were forced into an early time-out following a poor start. The rest of the set followed a repeating pattern: Lancaster draw level, York push ahead, Lancaster equalise again. The set was deadlocked at 23-23, then 26-26, before York finally took it to send the packed home crowd into delirium and tie the match up at one set each.
In contrast to that tight set, York dominated the third from the start and despite a couple of long stoppages to debate controversial decisions, Lancaster never looked like getting back into it. A huge 25-10 win not only gave York a 2-1 lead, but also a significant momentum advantage. Lancaster looked dead and buried, and York inched ahead in the fourth set, but a sudden revival gave the visitors the lead, and they held their nerve to take the match into a deciding set.
The tie-breaking set was first-to-15, and again it was York who took an early lead. At 11-6 to York, it looked as if Lancaster’s brave resistance would be for nothing. But they rallied once more, and five consecutive Lancaster points levelled the scores. This time the swing in momentum proved decisive, and Lancaster took the final set 15-12 to claim a remarkable victory.
Some York players collapsed to the floor in disbelief at the end, but they were roared back to their feet by the defiant home supporters. Neither side deserved to lose this fantastic game, but it was Lancaster who took the four points.