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Lancaster defeat York in football firsts clash to regain Roses crown

The men's football firsts succumbed to a 3-1 Roses defeat, officially sending the Carter-James trophy back to Lancaster

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Images: Philippa Grafton

Sunday at Roses saw football take centre stage with the showpiece match kicking off at 12:30pm between the two University first teams. It had been a tough season in BUCS for Lancaster and York as they both suffered relegation from their respective divisions. A Roses victory would be some consolation for whoever was to win.

Unfortunately, York were unable to gain the victory although many onlookers believed they were the better team. They paid for lapses in concentration and a 3-1 loss proved to be the result. To add insult to injury, the defeat gave a crucial four points to Lancaster which meant the Carter James trophy went back to the Red Rose as they reached the total needed to win Roses 2012.

The first half was very even with neither team wanting to take any unnecessary chances in such a massive match. York lined up with a very attacking line up with Dan Jones, Tom Day, Dan Atherton and Tom Clarke all starting and perhaps had the better chances with looking particularly dangerous.

However, it was Lancaster who created the first gilt-edged chance and they so nearly took the lead. The ball was slipped through the York defence to the Lancaster number nine, only for the striker to hit the post with his effort after beating Dom McMahon in the York goal.

This was a let off for York although the chance should never have come about as the striker was at least a yard offside. York responded instantly and created their best opening with Ollie Harrison playing in Tom Clarke with a delightful through ball. Clarke's effort was saved excellently by the Lancaster goalkeeper though.

Lancaster then started to take control about half an hour in and they eventually made their possession count. They took the lead when the striker made some space for himself before letting fly from the edge of the box. The effort was perfectly placed and the Red Rose were 1-0 up at half time with little to choose between the two teams.

The second half started as the first had with York in the ascendancy. Straight from the kick off the men in black and yellow threatened and it was Dan Atherton who grabbed the equaliser for his team.

Atherton picked the ball up thirty yards from goal before assessing his options and deciding to shoot. He caught hold of his attempt brilliantly and the ball curled past the helpless Lancaster goalkeeper, nestling in the bottom corner. The second half was set to be a thriller.

For the next 15 minutes York were solidly on top with Tom Clarke linking with Tom Day and Dan Jones very well down the right hand side. Jones had a shot which just went over the crossbar while Clarke looked a constant threat running at the tiring Lancaster defence.

It was the combination of Jones and Clarke once again which almost grabbed York a deserved lead. Jones sent a deep, searching cross towards the back post and Clarke leapt brilliantly to head the ball towards goal. The goalkeeper managed to palm the ball back into his own six yard box and James Davies went in for the header to score but was just beaten to it by the Lancaster defender.

The match became increasingly end-to-end with a goalmouth scramble ensuing in a chance for Lancaster who looked certain to take the lead. Somehow, Ollie Harrison dived across goal and hooked the ball clear. It was an unbelievable piece of defending.

This was to be a sign of things to come as York seemed to lose focus and in the last 15 minutes they conceded two goals. The second goal from Lancaster started in defence and some crisp one touch passing sliced through York. The ball eventually fell to a Lancastrian in the penalty area and he stroked home from eight yards.

The third was unfortunate as York had to push men forward to try and grab an equaliser and they ended up paying the ultimate price. A fast-flowing counter attack gazumped York and the score was 3-1. Minutes later the referee blew for the final whistle.

Lancaster had officially won Roses 2012 and there were scenes of jubilation from the Lancaster players and supporters alike who had been forced to wait until 2:09pm on the Sunday to regain the trophy.

After the match, York captain Dan Turley was "gutted" that his team had lost a match he felt they deserved to win. He stated that "for 30 minutes in both halves we controlled the game and played some unbelievable football. We switched off at the end of both halves though and conceded sloppy goals. Overall we can be proud of our performance."

York: McMahon, Turley (C), Lynch, Mawdesley, Harrison, Jones (Brownlow), Davies, Daly, Atherton, Day, Clarke

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