‘Gate Ladies frustrated by Brooklands

Sarah Gibbins was on target for Harrogate Ladies 1sts in their draw with Brooklands Poynton 2nds. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Sarah Gibbins was on target for Harrogate Ladies 1sts in their draw with Brooklands Poynton 2nds. Picture: Caught Light Photography

Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1sts were left frustrated after being held to a 2-2 draw by Brooklands Poynton 2nds in North Division One.

Rachel Till’s side suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of league leaders Pendle Forest last time out and were desperate to bounce back with a win, but were forced to settle for just a point as they conceded a late equaliser.

Brooklands’ defence wasrattled by the ‘Gate attack from the starting whistle, with the hosts maintaining the majority of possesion during the opening 15 minutes.

The high intensity and speed of the forward line forced the visitors to make a number of errors, however despite creating a number of good chances, the Ainsty Road outfit could not convert them into goals.

The Brooklands goalkeeper made some crucial saves to keep the scoreline level before the awat broke away and scored with their first effort on goal of the game.

Soon afterwards, the visitors were awarded a short-corner, but Harrogate defended it well and cleared the ball out the back early.

Captain Till received the ball out of defence and sent a pin-point pass through to striker Evelyn Wright, who tactfully slipped the ball past the keeper for Shelly Harrison to slot home ahead of half-time.

In the second period, the story was much the same with ‘Gate dominating possession and putting the Brooklands defence under considerable pressure, but unable to force the ball into the back of the goal.

Their hard work did eventually pay off, however, when a ball deep in the home half from Laura Beardsmore found Wright, who played another cute early through-ball, this time to Sarah Gibbins.

A cool and composed finish into the bottom corner followed from Gibbins, moving Harrogate in to a 2-1 lead.

The hosts could not see the game out though and Brooklands stole a scrappy goal in the final 10 minutes of the game to snatch a share of the spoils.

The Ladies 2nds also played out a 2-2 draw when they made the short trip to tackle University of Leeds 3rds.

They enjoyed the opening push-back for the first time this season and worked hard to keep possession, particularly through some good work down the left-hand side from Hannah Nash, who linked well with forwards Rachel Clarke and Sian Simpson.

This pressure resulted in a number of penalty-corners and Jayne Montague eventually broke the deadlock with a straight strike which deflected off the Leeds keeper and into the goal.

The students were undeterred by the goal and continued to sit back and wait for Harrogate to make mistakes in possession and then counter-attack.

The hosts eventually won their first penalty corner and were able to capitalise with a cleverly-worked equaliser.

Both sides had chances to add to their tallies towards the end of the first period, but there were no more goals before half-time.

In the second half, the university side changed their formation and tactics and pushed further forward.

This resulted in them taking the lead when one of their forwards managed to dribble through a number of defenders in the circle and lift the ball over ‘Gate goalkeeper Maddy Boocock.

The visitors worked hard to try and get back on terms and having gone close to doing so when Ali Wales struck a post, they levelled things up from a penalty stroke.

Captain and player of the match Jenny Allen stepped up and showed nerves of steel to slot the ball past the Leeds custodian.

Harrogate’s 3rd XI completed a hat-trick of 2-2 draws for the club when they hosted Sheffield University Bankers 2nds.

The 4th team were in excellent form, putting four unanswered goals past City of York 6ths.

All of these strikes arrived in a one-sided opening period, with Laura Mounsey (2), Chelsea Ward and Sarah Dickson the scorers.