Leeds Hockey Club: Men’s 1sts falter at Nottingham but last-gasp win lifts Ladies

With Leeds Hockey Club Men‘s first team visiting the North East next week to take on a very strong University of Durham side, they needed to build some momentum after a few weeks of close but disappointing results.

Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 5:00 am
Leeds Hockey Club Ladies 1sts. Picture: Ganni Braisby.

This was the aim as they travelled down the motorway a short distance to University of Nottingham at the weekend. Nottingham sit third in the National Conference North and are still in contention for that elusive promotion place, whereas Leeds are slightly off the pace but can still have a say in the final league placings.

A game that was never going to be an easy one, got off to a great start for Leeds as Nathan Hill popped up from nowhere and finished off some great team play to put the visitors one goal ahead inside the first 10 minutes. Unfortunately, this lead was soon taken away, as Nottingham hit back twice within three minutes to leave Leeds, once again, chasing the game at 2-1 down.

The rest of the first half was spent with Leeds fighting to equalise and Nottingham doing all in their power to stop them. Multiple times the hosts relied on keeper Rory McCallum to keep their lead, as Leeds became more and more frustrated.

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Leeds Hockey Club Ladies 1sts. Picture: Ganni Braisby.

The half-time break helped Nottingham more than it did Leeds, as they couldn’t get the same amount of possession once the second half had started.

Nottingham began slowly to dictate the game and it was no surprise to those watching when, in the 61st minute, Leeds succumbed to another mistake while defending a short corner allowing Nottingham to put the game to bed. Losing 3-1 is not how Leeds envisaged the game going, and they will need to cut out the mistakes that seem to be plaguing their season if they want to take anything away from Durham next week.

Recent weeks haven’t seen the Leeds Ladies hit the kind of form that they had last season, and a visit to Timperley saw them still trying to gain their first points of 2019.

With Timperley rooted to the bottom of the league, Leeds could not afford to miss the opportunity presented to them to turn their luck around.

It wasn’t to be the straightforward game that the travelling team wanted, however, as Timperley were throwing all they could in front of the Leeds team to thwart their efforts. Leeds dominated the game, but the final touch was, sadly, lacking and it looked to all that a draw was the only possible outcome.

A lot of prayers were being said on the Leeds bench and it was in the final 30 seconds of the game that those prayers were answered, and Timperley’s hearts broken.

Rebecca Hutson became the saviour of Leeds and her shot, which was the final touch of the ball by a Leeds player, became the match-winning strike.

A strong performance that the Ladies can be proud of means that space has opened between them and the bottom three in National North and, as they join the Men at Durham, everybody in the club is hoping that this is the start of a strong end to the season.

Full Leeds Hockey Club results: Men’s 1sts 1 University of Nottingham 3; Men’s 2nds 2 Wilmslow 0; Men’s 3rds 3 North Shields 4; Men’s 5ths 3 Sheffield Hallam 0; Men’s 6ths 2 Huddersfield 0; Men’s 7ths 4 City of York 2; Men’s 8ths 0 Doncaster 3. Ladies 1sts 1 Timperley 0; Ladies 2nds 1 Adel 0; Ladies 3rds 2 City of York 2; Ladies 4ths 1 Pickering 2; Ladies 5ths 1 Leeds University 4; Ladies 6ths 4 Leeds University 2.