Hockey: Leeds reign supreme to blow away storm clouds

Leeds Hockey Club men's 1st XI.
Leeds Hockey Club men's 1st XI.
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On a rainy Sunday in Doncaster, Leeds Men’s Hockey Club first XI took to the field in their third National North game of the 2018/19 season.

But with the campaign not going their way so far, Leeds were hoping that they could finally get into winning ways, against a Doncaster side also looking for their first points in the league.

However, after the first 35 minutes, and the scores static at 0-0, Leeds were left wondering if they were in for another disappointing day.

Things didn’t get any better after the restart, as it was Doncaster who went ahead on 44 minutes through a well-taken penalty corner by Matt Gibson.

Despite struggling this campaign, the Leeds boys have never been a team to give up, and it took only three minutes for them to respond in kind, as Daniel Mills stepped up and scored his first goal of his season.

It wasn’t long after the equaliser that Leeds took the lead, with some slick passing breaking down the hosts’ defence, allowing Nathan Hill to slot the ball past the keeper.

Brimming with newly-found confidence, Leeds put the game beyond doubt with just two minutes left as Harry Lankfer scored from open play to make the final score 3-1. This first win should put Leeds Men in fine fettle when they host Alderley Edge in an evening game on October 20.

On Saturday, Leeds Ladies ‘ones’ made the short journey to Ben Rhydding to face a strong opponent in what was their first ‘local derby’ of the season.

From the first whistle, the spectators knew they were in for an entertaining game as Ben Rhydding took only three minutes to open the scoring, and a further six to double their lead.

The shock of the quick goals wore off however, and on 16 minutes a great display of hockey from the Ladies in blue saw Imogen Emmott score to halve the lead and show that they weren’t going to give up the fight. Unfortunately, the greater experience of the Ben Rhydding side showed through and three second-half goals gave Leeds their first loss in over a season.

With Leicester visiting Sports Park Weetwood on Sunday, Leeds will be looking to put this small setback behind them quickly.

Leeds Hockey results:

Men: Leeds 1sts 3 Doncaster 1; Leeds 2nds 2 Chapeltown 2; Leeds 3rds 4 Leeds Adel 2; Leeds 4ths 2 Harrogate 0; Leeds 5ths 2 Boston Spa 3; Leeds 6ths 2 Leeds Adel 1; Leeds 7ths 0 Leeds Adel 0; Leeds 8ths 2 Kingston-upon-Hull 0.

Ladies: Leeds 1sts 1 Ben Rhydding 5; Leeds 2nds 4 Kingston-upon-Hull 0; Leeds 3rds 2 Kingston-upon-Hull 0; Leeds 4ths 6 Harrogate 0; Leeds 5ths 2 Thirsk 1; Leeds 6ths 2 Pudsey 2.

Sunday Cup Game: Leeds Ladies 4ths 2 Halifax 2 (Leeds win 3-1 on strokes).