HOCKEY: Goals-hungry Leeds men in seventh heaven

Fans were anticipating an entertaining first National League encounter on Saturday when Alderley Edge visited Sports Park Weetwood to take on Leeds men's 1sts '“ and they weren't disappointed.

Tuesday, 23rd October 2018, 6:36 am
Leeds Hockey Club men's firsts in action against Alderley Edge.

Both teams showed they wanted to get an early upper hand with the first part of the game consisting of some end-to-end play. As the game progressed, it was the Yorkshire side who began to get on top with some strong attacks and near-flawless defensive work.

David Swarbrick made the breakthrough after some wonderful build-up play in midfield. This produced eight minutes of Leeds dominance, and four first-half goals, which all but put the game beyond Alderley’s grasp.

With Swarbrick scoring a second, followed by Justin Brown getting on the scoresheet less than a minute later, and Harry Lankfer getting in on the act, the visiting team were unable to recover.

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Leeds Hockey Club women's team in action.

The second half was all Leeds, as not one, but two hat-tricks were completed. Swarbrick netted his first, with Lankfer only four minutes behind in completing his.

It looks like the Men’s first XI have put the rocky start to the season behind them after finishing the game 7-0 victors.

The story was different on Sunday as a Leicester side with a strong National League pedigree made their first appearance at Weetwood. The experience of the team in white from the first whistle was obvious as it took only ten minutes for a short corner to yield a goal, disallowed for an offence by the Leicester attackers in the build-up. The travelling supporters weren’t disappointed for long, as some slick passing saw them go one up after 16 minutes.

Once ahead, the visiting team were not willing to relinquish their lead and five minutes before the break the pressure led to a second goal via a short corner.

After the restart, Leeds began to fight their way back into the game, with the coaches urging them on from the side lines. It was too little too late, however, and Leicester got themselves a third with just three minutes left, a quick break leaving the home defence struggling.

With a Saturday double-header coming up – both teams play the University of Durham – Leeds are hoping it can be a ‘blue weekend’ in the National Leagues.