Image: Luke Snell
Fortune favoured the brave early on as James took the lead within five minutes with an excellently improvised chip over the keep, that rolled into the goal despite the best efforts of three Collingwood defenders trying to keep it out.
The pattern for the match was set early and maintained, James adding a second goal not long after their first, this time displaying excellent quick passing in the opposition area, opening up the goal and then tapping into an empty net.
A penalty corner provided James with another opportunity in the middle of the first half, having a driven shot from the edge of the D blocked by a Collingwood defender, eventually turning over possession through the illegal use of feet in a frenzied goalmouth scramble.
Despite James’ dominance, Collingwood were not totally absent in the game, being gifted a gilt edged chance by a James error in defence that set their striker bearing down on goal unopposed. The visitors got away with it though, as the shot was scuffed and easily saved by the excellent James goalkeeper.
Collingwood then had three penalty corners in quick succession, all of which provided good chances for the Durham representatives to claw their way back into the match, but were matched by the James defence who held firm to see themselves through to half-time up by two.
Or so they thought…
James netted a third goal seconds before the half-time whistle was blown, putting away an excellent swept shot from across the goalkeeper and into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Collingwood had a chance early in the second, attacking down James’ left side and crossing into a dangerous area just in front of the goalkeeper. After a heavy deflection on a game shot, the goalkeeper saved well and pushed the ball safe.
Following that chance, Collingwood’s tactical shifts at half-time were beginning to pay dividends. A move into a counter attacking style of hockey saw further chances arrive at their feet, the most notable of which being a swift break ending in an attempted lob over the James keeper, which was duly smothered and saved.
James went on to regain their composure and their dominance, scoring a fourth and a fifth just before the final whistle blew, securing a 5-0 away win for James and five crucial points for Team York.