‘Gate Men beaten by the snow

Action from the abandoned clash between Harrogate 1s and Gateshead 1s. Picture: Caught Light Photography
Action from the abandoned clash between Harrogate 1s and Gateshead 1s. Picture: Caught Light Photography

Harrogate Hockey Clubs Mens 1st XI’s North Division One clash with Gateshead 1s was abandoned due to heavy snowfall.

With the Tynesiders leading 1-0 at Ainsty Road, the players were forced from the pitch, and the fixture will now have to be re-played.

Saturday’s contest started late due to earlier matches having been interrupted due to white-outs, but Gateshead deservedly took the lead before a vicious cross wind whipped snow across the pitch, causing a delay in proceedings.

The umpires paused the game - initially for 10 minutes - but decided that due to the heavy snow which was covering the pitch and the freezing temperatures they would wait to see if the playing conditions improved.

The sun then came out and started to melt the covering of snow, and the umpires deemed that the pitch was playable, so the first half resumed.

However, it was clear that another spell of snow was on its way and it arrived with strong winds that caused yet another white-out, and at that point the match was abandoned with Gateshead left frustrated.

Within another 20 minutes of play being abandoned, the sun was out and most of the snow had disappeared, apart from one corner of the pitch which was in shadow and retained snow and ice in the sub-zero temperatures.

The 2nd XI travelled to table-topping Leeds Adel, who had won all 20 games of their previous Yorkshire Premier Division games, the visitors ultimately disappointed to come away on the wrong end of a 4-2 scoreline.

In difficult blizzard-like conditions, both sides battled hard to take control of the game.

Just five minutes in, ‘Gate lost Paul Dinning after he was struck on the hand and needed to visit hospital. This upset the balance of the away side and Adel soon found an opening to make it 1-0 early in the half.

The visitors quickly bounced back, however, drawing level through a superb reverse-stick deflection from Russ Bowen.

At 1-1 the game was finely balanced, but Adel re-took the lead, though ‘Gate battled on and Oli Jordan lashed home from close range to send the sides into half-time on equal terms.

The hosts started the second period strongly and scored twice more to take full control of the game.

Harrogate continued to play well across the park and with 10 minutes remaining, thought they had a glimmer of hope when captain Josh Lyon deflected a short-corner into the bottom corner.

The home umpire however saw fit to disallow the ‘goal’ after he deemed the ball hadn’t left the D.

The game ended 4-2 and Harrogate left the pitch disgruntled, feeling that more could have gone their way.