Mens 1st’s (2) vs. (5) Bradford 1st’s
The men’s first’s were away to in-form Bradford last week. Despite some spells of promising Hollywood hockey the game wasn’t to go their way. Bradford were the first to open their account when White passed to their centre forward 5 minutes in leaving just Loftus in net to beat.
Slazenger pulled one back in the first half thanks to some skillful play around the Bradford ‘D’ finished neatly by Ben Jackson. However in the second half Bradford turned up the Autumnal heat taking the game out of Slazengers’ reach. The First’s did manage to pull a goal back from a Richard Tuddenham short corner with seconds left on the clock to make the final scoreline more respectable at 2 – 5.
Men’s 2nd’s (4) vs (0) City of York 5th’s
The seconds hosted travelling side City of York for their first home game of the 2019 campaign. It looked like a tough battle ahead with York warming up 30 minutes before the game, and Slaz only just arriving. However Captain Green marshalled his troops and the side put to work.
The home side looked more dangerous from the outset, but some strong defensive work, tied with poor accuracy gave no result from early pressure. It wasn’t until a rather ill Ted Richardson converted, that the game began to open up. From then, two more goals came in quick succession; Asad Baig netting, followed closely by a strike from Amir Khalil.
In the second half, York were a far harder unit to break down. Coupled with some decreased accuracy from Slaz and it was the posts and crossbar which took far more of a hammering than the net itself. However, a well worked penalty corner routine allowed Ben Graham to net a fourth.
Of particular note were the defensive back link this week of Green, Swallow and Taylor who helped Goalkeeper Daz Buttery to his first clean sheet of the season.
Men’s 3rd’s (2) vs. (3) Barnsley 1st’s
Slazenger 3rd’s hosted Barnsley 1st’s for a tough home encounter. Last seasons matches had both been close affairs, and this one proved to be similar. It was Slaz who went ahead early on with Scott Carruthers winning a short corner which as converted by Dave Gascoigne. However within the first half, Barnsley equalised to make it equal at the halfway mark.
In the second half, Slaz worked hard and shut out the Barnsley attack. Tim Carr was on hand to convert, putting the side ahead. However in the remaining minutes of the game, Barnsley netted a second and quickly followed with a third. While the home side looked for the equaliser until the final whistle, a mad scramble defence kept the visitors ahead at the close.
Men’s 4th’s (6) vs. (1) Halifax 4th’s
It wasn’t until late on Friday that a team was eventually sorted so it was with the bare 11 man squad needed that the 4’s travelled to Halifax for their second game of the season. The weather had been appalling all morning so there was an expectation of rather torrid and wet conditions, it was therefore a nice surprise that the clouds cleared and the rest of the day went without any further downfall to impede the match.
The squad was a mix of the usual players and a few new faces making up what on paper appeared to be a strong team. With the toss won, Halifax began the pushback. The first 20 minutes were a sporadic mix of turnovers as both sides tried to get the measure of the other and things looked to suggest that this would be a tough game ahead. However, this was soon put to bed with a timely goal from John Sykes. A further goal soon followed and confidence was growing, though this was set back when Halifax nailed a short corner in the right corner of the net.
Undeterred and heads high, Slaz pressed on and finished the half with a further goal and a half time lead of 3-1. The second half was a continuation of how we had finished the first, constant pressing of the Halifax free hits and 16’s prevented them from making any headway and the Halifax team barely had a look at the Slazengers goal area. By the end of the match a further 3 goals had been sotted passed their keeper, with the final score being 6-1 to Slaz Scorers for the day; John Sykes with 3, Pete Gunning 2, and a goal for George Bentley on his debut and man of the match to a boot for his overall contribution.
Two wins from two sees Slazengers 4 sitting second in the Division 5 North on goal difference.
Mens 5th’s (3) vs. (3) Huddersfield 5th’s
The 5th team travelled away to a wet and rainy Huddersfield. The team started brightly despite the weather, controlling much of the ball and play for the first 10-15 minutes. A couple of Huddersfield goals against the run of play started a bit of panic with Slaz struggling to find each other and losing possession. Huddersfield capitalised and put a 3rd home via a penalty flick. Aiden Coughtrey scored shortly before half time leaving the score at 3-1. After half time Slazenger came out slightly rearranged and on the hunt for goals.
WOTM Karl (the Calf) Ashford pulled up injured shortly after, claiming to have been hit by the opposition with no one round him. Adam Searle replaced him and quickly assisted Seasick Steve in putting the first goal of the half away leaving the score at 3-2. The 3rd goal came via a Richard Coughtrey back post tap in! Slaz continued to pressure the Huddersfield goal for the last 10 mins other than the odd breakaway which amounted to nothing. Game finished 3-3 with MOTM shares between 5 players due to an all round good team performance.
Men’s 6th’s (1) v. (2) Huddersfield Dragons 5th’s
This was the first game of the season for the Development team, an away game at a rain soaked Huddersfield Dragons. The new look team, led superbly on the pitch by Dene Minchella, played some fantastic hockey throughout and were unlucky to go down to a 2-1 defeat against an older Huddersfield team. Slaz dominated early on with great work through the middle by Luke Minchella, Turner Booth and Harry Ashford but were unable to score. Huddersfield managed to turn defence into attack and scored midway through the first half despite some great goalkeeping from Jack Hancock, going into the half time break 1-0 up.
Huddersfield scored a second goal, straight after half time, which spurred Slaz into action. Great wing play from Eleanor Randall and Ollie Leonard saw Will Parish go close to scoring on a couple of occasions on his first ever hockey game. Some solid defence from Lewis Killey, Elliott Booth and Dan Bailey kept Huddersfield out before Luke Minchella scored for Slaz to set up an exciting finish. We couldn’t quite grab the equaliser despite going close on several occasions, but this was a fantastic start to the season. Well played everyone. Special thanks to Johnny Meeson who stepped in at very short notice to cover for the injured Karl Ashford and shared the centre back roles with Richard Coughtrey.
Ladies 1st’s (4) vs. (3) Dewsbury 1st’s
The Ladies 1st’s travelled to local side Dewsbury for an end to end thriller, coming away with a 4-3 win. Goals came from Sarah Sykes (3), and Mollie Gilbert
Ladies 2nd’s (4) vs. (1) Airedale 1st’s
Slazenger Ladies 2s started off strongly with excellent passes from defence to midfield. Brilliant runs from forwards allowed Nicci Swinden to score with a powerful straight strike. However, Airedale responded quickly with a goal in response. The first half ended with a 1-1 draw.
Slaz were straight on as the whistle blew, carrying with speed along the wings, allowing the opportunity for a short corner to which Ingrid scored Slaz’s second goal with a quick and powerful hit. An excellent cross from Nicci allowed Mia Davies to smash the ball into the net, making the score 3-1. Despite some distraction from the opposition, Stacey Drake hit the ball from defence right to the opposition’s D to Mia who passed the ball to Mush. Then scoring Slazenger’s final goal. Finishing with a 4-1 win despite having no subs. Cherry Bedford had a brilliant game in midfield, with strong tackles and awesome passes.
Ladies 3rd’s (0) vs. (6) Batley 1st’s
The rain held off for a hard-fought game between Slaz and Batley, which ended in a 6-0 defeat – a scoreline which didn’t reflect how well the team played. Starting strong, Slaz demonstrated some good passing and pressure through the centre and left wing between Tuscany Mellor, Beth Elsworth and Caitlin McGrath, however the Batley defence denied any shots on goal. A Batley hit out saw them quickly break down field and gain a short corner off a Slaz foot. Slaz defended well, but after 4 repeat short corners, the ball was deflected in off a Slaz stick.
Again Slaz went on the attack, putting pressure on the Batley defence and moving the ball well as a team. A great ball from Caro SChofield to Nat went wide and a cross into Caitlin was saved by the goalkeeper. Linda Stacey also had some shots on goal from short corners, but unfortunately none found the backboard.
Just before half time, Batley scored again from a deflected ball off a slaz stick into the D which rebounded off 2 Slaz sticks and past Lizzie to give them a 2-0 advantage.
After half time Batley pushed on with 2 goals in quick succession despite great efforts from the Slaz defence. Slaz kept fighting though with some good long passes up field to Caro, Caitlin and Nat, but their shots were saved by the goalie. The last 2 Batley goals came from another deflection and an intercepted pass out of nowhere!
Final score Slazengers 0-6 Batley and Tuscany Mellor got player of the match.
Ladies 4th’s (0) vs. (3) Cleckheaton 1st’s
The ladies 4th team faced stiff opposition this week against Cleckheaton 1’s at home. Introducing another two new juniors, Ruby Fawdington-Fisher and Jess Morris and Gemma Wroe finding herself on the pitch for the first time in 5 years – it was clear from the start that Cleckheaton had fielded a more senior side with serious goal shooting skill.
Lauren Hattersley, Slazenger’s keeper, made her return from injury and didn’t disappoint, making several spectacular saves from the start but it wasn’t enough and at the half time whistle, Slazenger’s were 2 nil down.
Jules Measures worked tirelessly in midfield and the second half proved more successful with the Slazenger defence preventing Cleckheaton scoring further. An unfortunate home goal by captain Julie Bailey was all that slipped through.
A 3-0 defeat, but great sportsmanship from both sides made up for loss. Player – Jules Measures.
Under 12 Boys
The Boys under 12’s took on North Yorkshire outfit Driffield, making quick work of them While Driffield looked organised, Slaz quickloy got to work. A brace from Curtis Jones got the team underway. Luke Minchella followed with a top corner tomohawl worthy of the Premier league, with Owen Coughtrey following up for a fourth. Great work from Luke and good wing play from Owen and Curtis created the goals. Final score 4-0.
The second fixture say Slaz face off against City of York; again coming away with a dominant 3-0 performance. Luke Minchella and Amar Khalil were again dominant in attack throughout, creating many chances in an overall strong team performance across the board. Goals came from Khalil (2) and Minchella
Game 3 saw Slaz face off against Adel. Good early pressure came from Amar and Luke, with Curtis going close. The first goal came from Khalil. However, stand out performance went to solid defence from Ollie Leonard to deny Adel. Great long ball through from Luke set up Amar to net the second. Final Score 2-0.
The final game of the day was against Selby. Not to be outdone by the earlier performances, the team worked hard to bring home a 6-0 victory. A great cross in from Minchella set up Amar to score the first. Luke followed this up with a second from close in, and a 3rd from a goal mouth scramble. Curtis was close to netting the fourth, but great defence from Selby kept them in the game. Minchella was on hand to break the deadlock, creating 2 goals out of nothing with creative play in space. Ollie Leonard again demonstrated some solid defensive work to to deny Selby. In the closing minutes, Amar intercepted the ball just outside the D, setting up Minchella for the 6th. Final score 6-0.
Under 16 Boys
Slazengers Under-16s secured promotion to Division One of the Yorkshire Youth Hockey League at the first time of asking as they took full advantage of playing at home – including beating old foes Ben Rhydding. The withdrawal of Driffield from the opening tournament of the season appeared to relax the Slaz boys as they knew they could not be relegated, although they later admitted they did not expect to finish top of the table.
They opened with a 1-1 draw against a Hull side who tested the umpires’ patience to the extreme with their robust play and constant complaining about decisions. Hull took the lead with a drag flick from a short corner into the top corner, giving keeper Aidan Coughtrey no chance, but Slazengers hit back strongly and fashioned an excellent equaliser. Max Godley impressed all tournament with his use of the aerial pass and from one of these, towards the right corner of the pitch, Alex Stacey used his pace to outsprint his opponent before cutting back and beating the keeper from a tight angle.
Slazengers just about edged the rest of the match in terms of possession but could not find a winning goal, before Ben Rhydding beat Hull 2-1 in the next match. This meant any victory against their nemesis opponents would enable Slaz to finish top – and they achieved this by outplaying the Ilkley side to win 1-0. A solid defensive display by Joe Minchella, Lucas Smith, Stacey, who dropped back from his usual midfield role to add some extra muscle, and new recruit Rhys Hancock meant Coughtrey was untroubled. It also meant that when Will Gascoigne’s powerful shot from the edge of the D found the corner of the goal, it proved decisive as Slazengers then wound down the clock with some impressive game management. Opponents in the top division next tournament will be Doncaster, who were overall champions last season at under-14 level, Wakefield and Harrogate.
Under 16 Girls
Harrogate V Slazenger: Despite the wet conditions and Slazengers only having 10 players the girls were ready for the challenge. The girls started well with the ball being passed around quickly. Slazengers were awarded a short corner however did not manage to score but were given a second chance when the ball hit the oppositions foot. Maisie received the ball at the top of the D and instead of striking passed it around the D, which made its way to Cherry who was waiting on the post for their first goal.
The rain became extremely heavy and made it difficult for the girls to see but this did not deter them and quickly followed their second goal as Hannah positioned herself on the back post as the ball made its way around the goal keeper. After half time both teams were playing well but as Harrogate became frustrated they made a number of errors leading to multiple short corners and again Slazengers utilised this to finish the game 3-0.
Slazenger V Northallerton: After a 40 min break and having dried off a little, Slazengers started off strong keeping the ball in the oppositions half, the teams appeared evenly matched despite Slazengers being a player down. Mia, Masie and cherry worked hard in midfield however a miscommunication between the forwards and midfield allowed Northallerton through leading to their first goal. Slazengers battled on as Northalleron grew in confidence, Ashleigh and Freya communicated well in defence and with a brilliant save from Maisie in Goal they managed to hold Northalleron to a 1-0 score at half time.
In the second half Northalleron upped their game some more, the additional player made all the difference to them but with some lovely stick work from Catlynn and a number of excellent hit outs from Freya, Slazengers looked like they were going to even up the scores. However with a lucky shot from Northallerton the game ended 2-0.