Harrogate Hockey Club Men’s 1sts produced a second-half attacking masterclass to overcome Newcastle University and strengthen their hold on a top-three spot in North Division One.
Will Rogers’ men built on a solid yet goalless first 35 minutes to record a 5-0 victory and gain revenge for their 3-1 defeat in the north-east earlier this season.
Top-scorer Charles Edmondson grabbed a brace either side of a Julian Tarres strike, with club captain Graeme Bevington deflecting in a well-worked short corner before Harry Henderson then fired home his first league goal of the season.
Despite Newcastle’s best efforts to get back into the game, the Harrogate defence remained largely in control and delivered their first clean sheet of the campaign and another valuable three points in their quest for a top-three finish.
“We were very solid against Newcastle in the first half and then really turned it on in the second,” skipper Rogers said.
“It’s pleasing to see certain things we’ve been working on in training come off.
“What was just as pleasing was a clean sheet; the defence has really tightened up since the winter break and this gives us a platform to go and score goals at the other end.
“We’ve been talking about maturing as a side and following up one good performance with another, and I think it’s starting to click.
“The challenge now is to build on the last three victories and take those standards to Lancaster this weekend.”
Rogers and his troops travel to Lancaster & Morecambe on Saturday (2pm push back), with the west-coasters languishing just above the relegation zone in ninth.
With Neston South Wirral surprisingly losing away to Liverpool University last time out, Harrogate now have a five-point cushion in third place, but are 11 points behind University of Durham who were held to a 2-2 draw by league leaders Didsbury Northern.