Durham University Women’s Hockey team preserved their unbeaten record in the National Hockey League after a stirring comeback against Manchester-based Brooklands Poynton.
Following goals either side of the interval, Durham were facing a first defeat of the season at the hands of a confident and in-form Brooklands outfit, but a late onslaught ensured Durham escaped with a draw.
Harriet Moore continued her prolific form to halve the deficit deep into the second half, before Libby Sherriff pounced moments before the final whistle to level the scores at 2-2.
Captain Steph Elliot expressed mixed feelings of pride and frustration after the game: “We’ve dipped a bit recently, and we’ve not been taking our opportunities,” she said. “However, I’m proud that we didn’t drop our heads and came back so strongly in the last 10 minutes”.
Heading into the game Durham sat at the top of the Conference North table, having picked up three wins – including two seven-nil demolitions of Northampton Saints and Whitley Bay & Tynemouth – and two draws from their opening fixtures.
In the process, Durham’s lethal potency in front of goal saw them amass the division’s strongest goal difference, while they carried their form into the BUCS Premier North League on Wednesday with an opening victory over rivals Loughborough.
Confidence was therefore high in anticipation of Brooklands’ trip across the Pennines, but the Manchester-based team were in blistering form themselves after three successive victories, in which they scored 14 goals and conceded just one.
After relegation from the Premier Division last year they are no doubt targeting an immediate return, and soon after half-time their journey to Maiden Castle threatened to be a fruitful one.
Durham’s resilience, however, coupled with Harriet Moore’s trademark eye for goal meant the momentum soon swung, and a dramatic equaliser from Libby Sherriff was a fitting conclusion to a breathless period of play.
The final whistle was a blessing for the Brooklands players, who in the latter stages were pinned deep into their own territory.
As Captain Elliot put it: “If only we could have played the whole game like the last 10 minutes.”
Nonetheless, Durham are yet to taste defeat this season, and though they lost top spot in the Conference North due to results elsewhere there are a plethora of positives to take from such a battling performance.
Durham University hockey club are high-flying after a fantastic month of results in October.
Both the Men’s and Women’s first teams sit top of theirNorthern Premier division thanks to three wins apiece. The men are looking to retain their title after winning it for the first time last season.
In the Northern Conference 2B, the Women’s 2nd’s and 3rd’s occupy the top two slots having also maintained perfect records.
The Men’s 2nd’s have three from three matches as well, which puts them top of 2B, whilst the 3rd’s currently occupy third in the same divison.
The Men’s 4th’s have picked up maximum points too meaning that they top 3B whilst the Women’s 4th’s are positioned in fifth.