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Durham blow away women's hockey firsts

A comprehensive victory from start to finish was well-earned for Durham in the final round of BUCS fixtures this year on the JLD, in a game where York had little to play for

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BUCS Northern Conference 2B

Photo credit: Petroc Taylor

A comprehensive victory from start to finish was well-earned for Durham in the final round of BUCS fixtures this year on the JLD, in a game where York had little to play for.

Despite a poor first five minutes by both sides, Durham, who had already secured promotion, were soon finding their way into the York D win ease.

York cleared the ball after goalkeeper Laura Porter made a smart save with her feet after a Durham short corner, but the away side came straight back at them and broke back into the D before firing off a shot. The shot was blocked by Sally Dolton but, unfortunately for York, the ball only looped over Porter and into the goal.

Durham continued to dominate possession and after the quarter-hour mark, they doubled their lead. A penetrating ball from midfield made its way past the York defence and the onrunning striker was able to square the ball to her striking partner, who easily slotted the ball into an open goal.

York continued to struggle to work the ball out of their own half as Durham managed to read every pass with ease and claim back possession, whilst the York defence often found themselves being drawn into the ball and leaving a Durham player unmarked.

The opposition's third goal came not long after as their right-winger showed amazing pace to beat Jill Mercer and square the ball to the striker, who finished well. The winger caused problems for the York defence all evening, with her pace described as "like a Ferrari, innit" by umpire Dong-Oh Shin.

It took the home side 25 minutes to muster their first real chance; Joely Hartley broke down the left and found space to cut inside and attack on goal but her effort was blocked by the Durham keeper.

Just before half-time, Durham managed to make it 4-0. They won a free hit halfway into the York half and the ball was worked down the right to their prolific winger, who this time cut the ball to the far post for another easy finish.

York started the second half in a much brighter way, despite their deficit, and they were now working the ball better in their opponents half. Regardless, after Minerva Saner dangerously approached the Durham goal, their defence reclaimed the ball well and the side broke up the other end of the pitch. The striker forced a good save from Porter, but she could only deflect the ball into the path of the other striker at the near post, who promptly made the score 5-0 to the visitors.

On the hour mark, Durham made it six. Once more, their prolific winger dribbled the ball exquisitely down the right before crossing the ball into the D, with a Durham striker fortunate enough to find the ball in front of goal as it was scrambled in.

After 65 minutes, York had their closest chance of the game as they looked for a consolation goal. Saner released Kristen Roberts on the right, who played it back to Saner as she fired a shot on goal; the shot was deflected wide and Izzy Hutchinson was unlucky to not get on the end of it.

Nevertheless, Hutchinson managed to keep the ball in play and work a shot on target; it beat the keeper but was stood on the line to deflect away from goal. With many York players now in an advanced role from the attack, Durham broke with ease when they reclaimed possession and their proactive strike pair forged another goal.

Despite Mercer's late attempt for a consolation goal, Durham managed to sneak in an eighth on the final whistle from a short corner. They set the shot up nicely before their player curled it superbly into goal at the near post.

After a disappointing evening for the ladies of UYHC, team captain Sally Dolton told Nouse: "We knew this match wouldn't impact us at all in the league and we knew they were going up, so maybe we didn't put in all the effort that we could have done. But we had a nice run around and we had some fun!"

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