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Thrills and spills in the indoor hockey as York go unbeaten

York's Men's 1sts drew 5-5 with Lancaster in an exciting Roses game. Despite claiming a respectable draw, York have reason to be disappointed after initially leading the game 4-0

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THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK 5 - 5 UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER



Images: Justyn Hardcastle and Philippa Grafton

York's Men's firsts drew 5-5 with Lancaster in an exciting Roses game. Despite claiming a respectable draw, York have reason to be disappointed after initially leading the game 4-0.

York were quickly on the front foot and could have opened the scoring very early on after earning a penalty stroke; club captain Richard Larkin powered the shot home only for the umpire to spot an infringement and order a retake, which Larkin shot agonisingly at the post. But the signs were nonetheless positive and it wasn't long before a breakthrough came, Niko Bode working well down the right wing before firing low into the bottom corner.

A second soon followed when the fast thinking Andy Harris took a quick free hit, catching Lancaster unaware, shooting powerfully into the goal.

York were now firmly in their stride and they added a third when a super shot at a tight angle by Harris found its way past the Lancaster's goalkeeper. All indications were pointing to an embarrassment for the Red Rose when Harris completed his hat-trick after a simple penalty corner move. However, just before half-time Lancaster received a glimpse of hope when they scored from a penalty corner.

Still, York were looking the far better team. Not long after half time Lancaster got another back, the atmosphere in the sports tent getting just a little tenser. York still looked dangerous in attack, driven forward by Larkin. But Lancaster could smell blood now and soon added another, closing the gap to just one goal at 4-3. York still tried to go forward, however this served to allow Lancaster to hit them on the counter to equalise.

Then came a moment of controversy, Larkin looked to have connected his stick to a low powerful drive from outside the D, directing the ball into the goal only for the umpire to rule that no contact had been made, disallowing the goal. York's luck seemed to have deserted them, especially when Lancaster blasted in a penalty corner to complete an unlikely comeback, making the score 4-5 to the Red Rose.

At this point York's heads could have completely dropped, but they responded almost instantly with a captain's goal from Larkin and even searched for a winner in the closing stages, earning a series of penalty corners. Unfortunately though, Lancaster's defence held out as the thrilling encounter ended 5-5.

Skipper Richard Larkin said that whilst his team had "made a great start", they had committed "some careless mistakes at vital times" and that the "fast pace of indoor hockey means even half mistakes will be punished", but he declared himself to be "altogether pleased" with a draw that ensured York's indoor hockey teams remained unbeaten in Roses.

THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK WOMEN 4 - 3 UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER WOMEN

An impressive display by the women's hockey firsts saw them edge their indoor Roses encounter with Lancaster 4-3. York had been trailing early on in the match, but fought back with goals from Laura Pepper, Rachael Faustino, Imy Eldergill-Storm and Charlie Bartlett.

It had been a nervy start from the White Rose as Lancaster forced a good save from Beanie Usher in the York goal before taking the lead with less than five minutes played; Lancaster's forward turning the last defender and firing low into the bottom corner.

But it didn't take long for the home side to respond as Pepper levelled the scores with a powerful effort. York then enjoyed a good period of possession, winning a penalty corner which Lancaster blocked only for skipper Faustino to slot in the rebound. The game continued to be played predominantly in the Lancastrian half and York were rewarded for their hard work with another goal; Eldergill-Storm scoring to give her team a well earned 3-1 lead at half time.

York picked up from where they left off after the break, Bartlett just failing to convert Pepper's cross in front of the Red Rose's goal mouth. However, Lancaster showed they would not role over easily as they pulled two goals back in quick succession to level the scores at 3-3. The game then transitioned into an exciting end-to-end contest as both teams looked to find a winner.

Faustino was putting in a particularly impressive performance and her team seemed to have regained their lead when Pepper put the ball in the net, only for the umpire to disallow the goal to the dismay of the vocal White Rose supporters. Undeterred, York pushed on and Bartlett then scored from a set piece. The umpires once again conferred, debating whether or not an infringement had occurred but this time allowed the goal to stand.

Overall it was a well earned victory for York's Ladies as they added to the Second Team's win earlier in the day to ensure complete dominance over their Red Rose counterparts. Team captain Rachael Faustino was "extremely pleased to get the win".

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