Alec Gibson was the Slazenger hero grabbing a superb five goals in this comprehensive defeat of Sunderland.
Despite injuries which had forced the Horbury side to change its usual line-up and the mid season break, Slazenger started strongly in this North League East Division 2 encounter.
Utilising wide men, Paul Wiper and Richard Whawell, the home team soon stretched the Sunderland defence on both flanks, but early chances were missed. Gibson made the breakthrough deflecting in Whawell’s powerful shot from the top of the circle.
Player coach Mike Thormcroft who was influential throughout, doubled the lead with a well-executed flick from a penalty corner.
Gibson then collected his second and Slazenger’s third, as he was the quickest to react in the goal-mouth scramble.
Slazenger played their best hockey in the latter part of the first half controlling in the midfield through Mark Swinden, Chris Hayton and Adrian Buckley.
This pressure was converted into goals as Gilston hit a purple patch rifling in two unstoppable shots past the hapless Sunderland goalkeeper.
The north-east side pulled one back at the start of the second half from a penalty corner – as Slazenger’s momentum was halted by the temporary suspension of Swinden.
But Gilston was not to be denied as he capped a five star performance with another rasping shot. Slazenger was comfortable for the remainder of the match and even survived the sin-binning of keeper, Cowden, after he tripped a Sunderland forward outside of the circle.
The victory removes any lingering doubt that Slazenger are in relegation trouble, and they can look forward to next week’s derby against Wakefield at College Grove at 1:30pm.