The men’s hockey 2nd XI clinched their first victory of the season with a thrilling 3-2 over Leeds Beckett Carnegie 1st XI at Maiden Castle. The visitors started much the better side through their early pressure, and it paid off when they managed to get on the end of a free hit and beat Durham goalkeeper Lloyd. The visitors’ long corners ensured that pressure was firmly on Durham, and although they lacked fluidity going forward, Durham never looked in danger of conceding again.
Durham slowly gained confidence in attack and went close to equalizing from a few metres out but the Leeds goalkeeper did well to keep the effort out. Captain Tim Blackburn was the next player to be denied, his shot on the turn was prevented from going into the bottom right corner by the feet of Leeds’ keeper.
Leeds however were still proving a threat to the Durham defence, going close twice, the second of which needed an intervention from Lloyd. Nevertheless, the Palatinates managed to equalize before the break. After an excellent run from Wildman down the right, Spittles was given an easy finish.
Leeds continued to look dangerous at the beginning of the second half and nearly re-took the lead, but no one was on hand to convert the reverse stick cross across goal. Durham however showed their efficiency as they took the lead through Adby after a fantastic run from Horn through the Leeds defence.
Lloyd was kept busy however at the other end, having to make a save following a reverse stick shot. Unfortunately for Durham, although he kept out the initial shot from a Leeds short corner, the rebound was scooped in to level the scores once again.
Durham’s response was immediate as a minute later Horn managed to get on the end of some good play from the home side to regain the lead. Despite a series of short corners and a save from Lloyd towards the end, Durham held out to record their first victory of the season.
Captain Tim Blackburn praised his team’s belief after his side got “the win we need.”
“We just had more belief to get the third goal” he said, while also praising his side’s character saying:
“We got our heads down [after Leeds’ equalizer] and within thirty seconds got the goal back and it was just what the boys needed”.
Keeper Lloyd praised Horn after his inspired display, having been involved in both the second and third goals. “He excelled in every way; he was all over the pitch and ran the show really for us”.
On the defence, Lloyd was equally as positive stating that “We were solid, we locked them out”, while also stating they were quite “comfortable”.