Men’s 1st’s (4) vs. (1) Harrogate 2nd’s
Men’s firsts took on Harrogate 2nd’s on saturday. Seperated by a single league position, it looked to be a close encounter. Slaz took the 3 points, with a 4-1 victory over the visitors. Goals ame from James and Mark Swinden, Ben Jackson and a rare goal from Paul Wiper. Harry Buttery made a strong impression in his guest appearance.
Men’s 2nd’s (6) vs. (4) Wakefield 4th’s
Slaz made the very short journey to Wakefield for the first local derby in a few seasons. In what could only be described as a “good game for the neutral”, with a well battled game, played in the best of spirits; Slazenger came away with 6-4 victory from a 10 goal game!
The visitors started the quickest, striking first through Alex Stacey, followed by a brace from Asad Baig; a fantastic penalty corner flick and a proposterous diving reverse strike. However, it was clear Captain Green didnt think the team were working hard enough, as he passed the ball to Wakefield’s centre forward for him to net. Another defensive mix-up put Wakefield within striking distance.
Slaz continued to work back into the game. Amir Khalil won a short corner for Baig to convert for his third. However Green was clearly unimpressed and let another goal in at the back post to keep Wakefield in it; 4-3 slaz. However, the game was far from over. Wakefield continued to battle hard and were rewarded with a 4th goal. However, two rapid breaks from the Slazenger side saw Baig selflessly square the ball past the keeper; firstly for Sam Haigh to convert, and secondly for Ben Graham to score; Final Score 6-4 Slazenger.
Men’s 3rd’s (0) vs. (3) Leeds Adel 4th’s
After a disappointing run of loses the Slazenger men’s thirds team needed a win against Leeds Adel’s men’s 4th team. A positive start from the slaz bunch who came out hard and played well. However, after some lucky breaks and some smart passing Adel scored 2 before the half time whistle went. leaving the score at 2-0 Adel at the break. After a constructive team talk, Slazenger came out will fresh legs looking for an equaliser, but after the first couple of minutes Adel took another goal from Slazenger.
After a period of good possession from the home side, a counterattack from the opposition split the green defence leaving Aidan Coughtry and the visitor’s striker 1v1. a heroic save from the Slazenger keeper kept the score line at 2-0 and the Adel player injured. As the Slazenger side began to find their feet – another goal came from the guests. But slaz played the game out with their heads held high. The game finished 3-0 Leeds Adel.
Men’s 4th’s (4) vs. (1) Driffield 3rd’s
It was uncertain if Driffield would make an appearance for the game as they had only been to one away match so far this season, however, it was positive to see that they made the journey for a damp and dismal 16:30 pushback. Normally as the scribe of the 4s match reports I would take pleasure in commenting on the detailed nature of the game and indeed there were many excellent moments and displays of hockey prowess; sadly this would also need to be punctuated with other aspects which are perhaps better left unspoken and forgotten.
In summary, the final result was a 4 -1 win to Slaz, though in some respects it was felt to be a bittersweet victory, it does however see Slaz 4s take second place overall in the div 5 North. Goals from Pete Gunning, Andy Birkett, Matt Smith and Damian Greig Man of the match went to Matt Smith for a superb effort throughout the game and many of us wondering if he moonlights on the side as The Flash. A final honourable mention in dispatches for 4s regular Harry Buttery, who this week stepped up to play for the 1 st Team and demonstrated a cool head, solid play and in the heat of battle almost netted himself a reverse stick goal; suffice to say, in this writers opinion, he did not look out of place.
Men’s 5th’s (1) vs. (4) Sheffield Hallam 7th’s
Dark and sinister forces seem to be evident again at the 5ths game away at Hallam.Less then 12 months after Young Tony the Foot Walker had been fingered as the mastermind behind the floodlight betting scam, his influence seemed to prevail over this match. Suspicion was aroused when last week, with a couple of his old defensive partners missing, the fives had managed to win a game scoring 7. Slazenger’s odds had shortened, Hallam who fielded a team average age of 76 odds had lengthened.
This suspicion grew when the team sheet was revealed by Son of Topper (also under YTTF influence last year) and second team scoring sensation Scoopy Doo Stacey jnr was starting on the bench, then only to come on with defensive duties, banned from crossing the halfway line. Slaz started brightly, enjoyed most possession and spent long periods pressing the Hallam goal. However after 20 mins, a shadowy figure, in turned up collar, hat and sun glasses was seen gesticulating to unidentified Slaz players from the stands. New boy Carl the Calf promptly started kicking the ball at every opportunity in the D giving away numerous shorts. Coincidence?
Not long after Topper pulled off an outstanding save from a resulting short corner tipping the ball round the post, only for Blocker Bailey to deflect the ball into the back of the net courtesy of sublime diving header. Two minutes later a weak deflected shot saw Topper run away as the ball trickled over the line. A cackle was heard from the stand, as the the figure in the hat and shades lit a large Cuban cigar.
Meanwhile Slaz midfield, Kene Dene, Chugger, Scoopy Snr and Pajamas worked tirelessly to foil Young Tony’s plans. The front three however had succumbed and proceeded to shoot more blanks than a James Bond movie. Slaz’s domination did end up with Adam Seattle scoring in the last minute but to numerous players relief this was not enough to effect the final score line of 4-1. The figure in the stands lit another Cuban, got into a blue Rover and roared off to the bookies. MOM William Hill; COM Topper Not a Stopper.
Men’s 6th’s (4) vs (6) Ben Rhydding 7th’s
This week’s game was perhaps the strangest game of the season for the Development team. Having received a message on Thursday morning from Ben Rhydding asking to cancel the game as they only had 7 players and no keeper, it was lucky that we had 17 players available and a spare keeper and we promptly offered them the players that they required and it was game on. Slazenger’s started the game very well, going 3-0 up within the first 15 minutes with a goal apiece from Luke Minchella, Eleanor Randle and Ruby Rodgers following some good play from the Slazenger midfield of Ben Jackson, Luke Minchella, Curtis Jones and debutant Alex Pearson.
A comprehensive win was on the cards, or so we thought….. This prompted a rethink from Ben Rhydding, assisted by “our man on the inside”, Dene Minchella, who had bravely opted to fill in at centre back for Ben Rhydding. Unfortunately, their re-arranged formation worked a treat, and Ben Rhydding scored four unanswered goals, including a goal from another Slazenger’s loanee, Ruby Fawdington-Fisher who skilfully pulled the ball down from a head high cross to beat the Slaz keeper, to give Ben Rhydding the one goal advantage at halftime.
The second half started in much the same way as the first half had, with Slaz piling on the pressure, but the goals proved elusive. Despite some good defence from Bella Kidd, Ollie Leonard, Dan Bailey and Danny Croxall, Ben Rhydding hit back on the counter to score again to go two goals clear. Slaz desperately needed a quick goal if anything was to be salvaged from the game and up stepped man of the match Luke Minchella. With seemingly no scoring chance on and the majority of the Ben Rhydding team behind the ball, Luke took the ball just inside the Ben Rhydding half and mesmerised the defence with a weaving run in to the D to slot the ball home in the top corner to reduce the deficit to one goal.
Slaz threw everything at Ben Rhydding for the final 15 minutes, with some good interplay between Owen Coughtrey and Luke Minchella in the midfield, providing chances for Eleanor Randle and Ruby Rodgers, but loanee keeper Will Parish made some good saves to deny the goals. With Slaz pushing forward, the counter attack once again proved to be our undoing and Ben Rhydding scored the winner after some good saves from keeper Charlotte Richardson, to make the final score six four to Ben Rhydding.
Overall a great performance from all of the Slaz players, regardless of which colours they wore. The result didn’t go our way, but it was pleasing to be able to play the game and have so many encouraging performances. Thanks to the players who played for Ben Rhydding – Dene Minchella, Pete Gunning, Tommy Randle, Ruby Fawdington-Fisher and Evie Mollart and to Danny Croxall for helping out on the Slaz team.
Ladies 1st’s (0) vs. (1) Brigg 1st’s
The ladies 1’s took a depleted team of 10 to Brigg at the weekend, to take on a squad of 14!! Expecting the worst but determined to give all they had Slaz went all out from the start to the surprise of the Brigg defence and the home crowd. Sadly this allowed Brigg to take advantage of their overload and they managed to score against the run of play. As the half went on, despite tiring legs, Slaz kept a strong defence. Rarely getting out of their half, MVP Paige earned the days title winning “personal battles” every time.
The half time whistle was a welcome sound, but with just a 1 goal deficit The game was far from over. The second half saw the ladies demonstrate true Slazenger spirit. Simple passing was the name of the game and Slaz , after continually denying the Brigg attack used this to pressure their defence. Sadly, despite a number of chances, a goal never materialised but Slaz left with their heads held high and looking forward to the return fixture; Final score 1:0
Ladies 2nd’s (3) vs. (2) Chapeltown 2nd’s
On a wet Saturday in Horbury, Slaz Ladies 2s faced Chapeltown. Chapeltown got a early short corner, followed by another after Stacey lifted the ball at the opposition, which they did not use to their advantage. Slaz had a great chance after a run down the wing from Cherry, who passed to Nicci, who passed to Natasha who’s shot was saved. There was some great play from the defence pushing up into midfield, and some brilliant passing throughout the team. Another short corner for Chapeltown with a great save from Tracy. There was some good passes from Slaz, and we were unlucky to score after the ball was saved by the defenders foot. Mia had a chance one on one with the keeper but this was saved.
Chapeltown had another short corner which they scored from, and this ended the first half with Slaz 1 nil down. Slaz had a free hit from outside the 25 which Stacey hit straight in to Maisie, who with a great touch managed to get the ball into the back of the net! 1-1Slaz morale was high and we had a few shots on goal which kept going wide. Slaz’s next goal was from a short corner, straight strike from Sarah, hitting a defenders foot before it went in. Slaz continued to battle well, and secured another short corner which hit a defenders foot so were awarded a flick which Nicci calmly placed bottom left making the score 3-1. Chapeltown did make a come back scoring again, and Phe was unlucky to have her goal disallowed. Final score 3-2. Player of the match was awarded to Maisie Davis for her awesome goal!
Ladies 2nd’s (4) vs. (3) Sheffield Uni Bankers 2nd’s
In Slazenger’s Ladies 2s second game of the weekend against Sheffield University Bankers, it started out with a strong attack from Bankers, they began with quick passes around Slaz and quickly earn their first goal. Slaz quickly turned around with Bankers failing to defend and with a tap around the keeper from Mia, the score was equalised 1-1. Approaching half time Slaz scored again, Mia placed the ball to the back of the net following some excellent passes up front. The sound of the whistle signalled the ending of the first half with a 2-1 lead to Slaz. The second half started with a good battle between the two teams. Unfortunately, Slaz gave away a short corner which resulted in a goal, making it 2-2. Slaz came back strong with a hard pass into the D, which Nicci chipped up in the air and struck mid volley past the keeper, scoring a well deserved goal. It was a definite contender for goal of the season! Bankers equalised again, but with minutes left, Slaz were awarded a short corner; with a strong push to the top of the D, Stacey scored a goal from an excellent hit. Slaz earn a well deserved win 4-3. Player of the match was jointly awarded to Maisie Davis and Nicci Swinden, but there were notable performances from Jess Lloyd, Helen Ramshaw and Linda Stacey who stepped up from the 3s to play this tough game.
Ladies 3rd’s (7) vs. (1) Harrogate 5th’s
Slaz 3s absolutely smashed the 1pm game at Harrogate. We took the opportunity to increase our goal difference within the league.
It started off with Slaz getting straight at the Harrogate side. The rain didn’t put us off on a slow pitch getting the 1st goal from Caro Schofield with a little help from Caitlin McGrath. Caro has a way of attacking the goal in a seemless manner, keeping hold of the ball and positioning in the right hand side with Caitlin just finishing off the goal. The next goal was a strong hit from Linda Stacey with the rebound off a short corner. This hit Caro’s stick and landed in the top left hand corner.
Slazengers gained a number of short corners that allowed us to practice out technique. Jess Lloyd, Sarah Ritchie and Emma Eley kept it strong in defence where a few balls come through the middle but Harrogate were no match. We had a smashing goal from Lauren Fealey sweeping it into the goal off the post. This was all before half time. Helen Ramshaw and Linda moved into the middle and worked the ball to either side to Justine Birkett, Ellie McWilliams and Caitlin creating triangles of play, keeping hold of the ball till the half time whistle.
Harrogate came strong into the 2nd half applying a bit more pressure and managed to get the a goal by shear luck. This saw a one on one with keeper Lizzie Tunstall, who took the ball, only for Harrogate to regain, and excellent tackle from Sarah, saw the ball lifted into the air and over the players heads into the goal. Harrogate also gained some short corners but an excellent save from Jess on the line followed by a cracking save from Sarah off the back line denied Harrogate another goal.
This urged Slazengers to push forward and another goal was taken by Natalie Beech sweeping strong scraping off the keepers pads and hitting the back board. The penultimate goal came from Lauren with an excellent sweep from the left side. Taking full advantage Slaz realised that they might not get another goal so made a skillful decision to get short corners, which lead to another goal. This came from Linda getting the rebound keeping it in the D and doing a great hit to make the ball hit the back board. Final score Slazengers 7-1 Harrogate
Boys U10’s EH Cup tournament. The Boys were ready for what we knew would be a challenging morning of hockey. Slazenger started well against Wakefield with some excellent defence from Rhuben Foster and Leo Sheen-Meakin Both teams were equally matched but Wakefield were stronger in attack and the game ended in a 2-0 loss.
We had a quick pep talk and started with great optimism against Ben Rhydding. But is soon became clear that they were great team with some brilliant passing which caught out our defence early on. Tori Richardson in goal played a brilliant game and made many excellent saves. But Ben Rhydding managed to score 7 before the final whistle.
Slazenger’s third game was against Leeds. The boys started well with Aleks Thompson and Seth Hoole working the ball well up the pitch but Slazenger were unlucky not to score. A counter attack from Leeds gave them the lead. Slazenger played a superb second half, worked very well for each other but were unable to stop Leeds score the 2-0.
The last game was against Wakefield again. The players kept working hard for each other, and played some excellent hockey. Owen Coughtrey made some strong runs up front with support from Owen Wiper in midfield. Tori kept her vocal support up throughout the tournament and it certainly wasn’t down to lack of trying. But Slazenger were unable to win this last game.
Slazenger newest recruit, Charley Thomas played a brilliant first tournament. The team will be back in action on Sunday morning at Weetwood. Slazenger BU 10’s are all smiles after today’s tournament, as they enjoyed the game for the game not the win!
(From l-to-r) Owen Coughtrey, Owen Wiper, Rhuben Foster, Seth Hoole, Leo Sheen-Meakin, Tori Richardson, Aleks Thompson and Charley Thomas