'˜Gate Ladies draw a blank at Chester in first outing of 2018
Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1s returned from their North Division One trip to Chester disappointed only to have managed a goalless draw.
Their first fixture back after the Christmas break was played on a pitch laden with sand, a factor that slowed the pace of the game down considerably.
Despite the difficult conditions, ‘Gate pushed forwards determined to get a goal in the first half, creating a number of chances from a flurry of short-corners.
They nearly took an early lead courtesy of a powerful drag-flick from Freya Wilde, but her effort was stopped by an impressive block on the goal-line by a Chester defender.
Some great work down the left flank by captain Rachel Till produced further scoring opportunities, however Harrogate could not convert in front of goal.
The second period followed a similar pattern with both sides continuing to struggle on a heavy playing surface, but the visitors making most of the running.
Chester did eventually begin to threaten in the closing stages, however, and only a fine save from goalkeeper Caz Hurst denied the hosts a late winner from a short-corner just before the final whistle sounded.
Harrogate 2s produced one of their best performances of the season as they eased to a 4-0 home triumph over Slazenger 1s.
The away side began the match brightly, but ‘Gate soon took charge and broke the deadlock through a nicely-worked goal.
Following an interception in midfield, ayne Montague passed the ball down the line to Ali Wales, who crossed into the circle for Sian Simpson to finish.
Goalkeeper Maddy Boocock had to do her bit at the other end to keep Slazengers at bay, but a second ‘Gate goal arrived before half-time when Simpson returned the favour, crossing for Wales to slap the ball home.
Jenny Allen ended the game as a contest early in the second period with a clinical strike from a penalty corner and fourth goal quickly followed, Simpson tormenting a number of defenders in the circle before unleashing a strike that was helped over the line by Rachel Wilcox.
Harrogate could have added to their tally, but were also grateful to player of the match Boocock who produced a couple of fine stops in the closing stages.
The Ladies 3s travelled to take on Slazenger’s second string and also emerged victorious by four goals to nil.
‘Gate 4s did however end up on the wrong end of a 4-0 scoreline, suffering a day to forget at home to Scarborough 1s.