Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI one point away from winning league title

Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI all but wrapped up the Yorkshire & North East Premier Division title by beating Stokesley 4-0 on Saturday afternoon.

By Rhys Howell
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 7:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 7:36 pm
Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies celebrate taking a 2-0 lead against Stokesley at Ainsty Road. Pictures: Gerard Binks
Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies celebrate taking a 2-0 lead against Stokesley at Ainsty Road. Pictures: Gerard Binks

Lucy Wood’s team still require one single point from their remaining two fixtures of 2021/22 to be mathematically certain of top-spot, with nearest rivals Tynemouth & Whitley Bay six points behind them in second place.

But, with a vastly superior goal-difference to their name, an unlikely 31-goal swing would be required for the North East outfit to leapfrog ‘Gate in the table.

“We have the two hardest games of the season left,” coach Lewis Butcher commented.

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Katie Blyth was among Harrogate's goal-scorers in what was a one-sided affair.

“But, if we play like we did against Stokesley at Newcastle University next week, we will get the success we deserve.

“When we pass the ball at speed, we look a classy team.”

Captain Wood handed the home side the perfect start against Stokesley when she embarked on a lung-bursting run from inside her own half, exchanged passes with Jacs Smith then rounded the visiting goalkeeper before slotting home from a tight angle.

Smith made it 2-0 before half-time, hammering an effort into the net following some silky stick skills by Laura Stone.

Harrogate laid siege to the away goal after the break but it took some quick thinking from Tilly Hall at a free-hit to set Katie Blyth clear to finish clinically for 3-0.

Top-scorer Holly Oldham then rounded things off just two minutes later.

‘Gate’s clash at Newcastle University this Saturday gets underway at 3pm.