Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies must wait to be crowned champions following defeat at Newcastle University

Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI will have to wait until the final day of the 2021/22 season to be crowned Yorkshire & North East Premier Division champions.

By Rhys Howell
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 4:51 pm
Holly Oldham was on target for Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI in their 2-1 loss at Newcastle University. Picture: Gerard Binks
Holly Oldham was on target for Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1st XI in their 2-1 loss at Newcastle University. Picture: Gerard Binks

Lucy Wood's table-toppers lost their penultimate fixture of the campaign 2-1 at Newcastle University on Saturday, leaving them still in need of the single point they require to mathematically guarantee that they cannot be overtaken at the summit.

This weekend, they host second-placed Whitley Bay & Tynemouth - the only side capable of catching them - but only a victory by a 13-goal margin would be sufficient for the visitors to snatch pole position.

Harrogate's loss against Newcastle was just their third in 21 games this term and came despite them taking an early lead through top-scorer Holly Oldham.

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That goal did however arrive against the run of play following the Ainsty Road outfit's first visit to the students' circle.

Newcastle remained on top for the rest of the half and scored twice from short-corners to edge ahead at 2-1.

Harrogate lacked fluency and a number of misplaced passes belied nerves under pressure. They fared better in the second period but displayed little of the free-flowing attacking hockey that has been the hallmark of their season.

The visitors' attacks were limited to just the one shot on target from player of the match Wood, who was all over the field and whose often-forgotten defensive tackling helped keep the University team at bay.

This Saturday's showdown with Whitley Bay & Tynemouth gets underway at 2pm.