Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI sign off for 2021 with a win, while 2nd XI hit five

Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI signed off for 2021 with a comfortable away victory over Halifax.

Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 9:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 9:36 pm
Julia Corominas was among the goal-scorers as Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 2s thrashed Halifax 2s at Ainsty Road. Pictures: Gerard Binks

The Yorkshire & North East Premier Division leaders suffered a first defeat of the season in their previous outing, but bounced back in style, putting four past their hosts to ensure they head into the Christmas break seven points clear at the top of the table.

Saturday’s game began with Lucy Wood’s team very much in control, with several attacks created courtesy of some neat passing by the midfield line-up of Tilly Hall, Rosie Dale, Becky Sagar and Charlotte Crossman.

Some early chances went agonisingly wide, while Halifax’s tactics frustrated the Harrogate players initially, leading to some uncharacteristic mistakes.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hannah Nash weaves her way past a couple of Halifax defenders.

And it wasn’t until a breakthrough goal from Hall after 25 minutes that Harrogate started to look more like their useful selves.

With player of the match Emily Hilton and Crossman continuing to drive down the wings, further chances were created. One of which saw a rebound shot from Sam Swenson saved on the line by a Halifax foot, affording Dale the opportunity to step up and coolly slot home a penalty-flick to make it 2-0 before half-time.

The second period began in similar fashion with the visitors continuing to dominate possession but being frustrated both by the Halifax defence and umpiring decisions going against them.

Ten minutes after the re-start, a particularly unpleasant challenge forced Sagar off the pitch with a dislocated shoulder.

But, her team-mates rallied and, after a series of strong attacks, Hall put away her second goal of the match with an expert finish after a pinpoint Katy Blyth ball across the ‘D’.

Halifax eventually took advantage of some contentious umpiring decisions and pulled one back, though ‘Gate were to have the final say.

It was Jacs Smith who wrapped things up, netting with a nicely-executed top-of-the-‘D’ sweep following some slick build-up play down the right by Abi van Tonder and Hilton.

Saturday’s success means that the Ladies 1s will begin the New Year with 11 wins from 12 to their name, having already bagged a staggering total of 62 goals.

Meanwhile, Harrogate Ladies 2nd XI continued their own fine recent form in Yorkshire Division One, beating Halifax 2s 5-1 at Fortress Granby.

The home side proved simply too strong for an aggressive visiting outfit who just could not live with their hosts’ fast-flowing brand of hockey.

‘Gate have started matches in a much more positive frame of mind in recent weeks and pressed their opponents hard from the very start, launching wave after wave of attack.

A stunning deflection by Rachel Clarke following a Claire Barrett-Mould short- corner broke the deadlock 10 minutes in before a fine individual solo effort from Julia Corominas – which saw her run half the length of the pitch – doubled the advantage.

Harrogate made it 3-0 just before half-time, Rachel Wilcox applying a deft finishing touch from close range after being set up by Hannah Nash.

Matilda van Breemen’s clinical strike 10 minutes into the second period took the home score to four, then Corominas swept the ball into top left corner of the net following an incisive run and pass from Thompson down the right.

A last-minute goal saw Halifax reduce the deficit slightly, though the damage had already been done.

Elsewhere, Harrogate Men’s 1st XI were edged out 4-3 by Leeds 2s.