Hockey: Martin Hirst grabs dramatic late winner for Huddersfield Dragons
Nov 4 2009 by David Lockwood, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
A LATE strike from Martin Hirst brought Huddersfield Dragons their third consecutive North League I victory with a 5-4 triumph against Newcastle Medics at Lockwood Park.
Dragons were denied a penalty when a Newcastle defender used his body to stop a goalbound shot, but minutes later Craig Foster wasn’t to be denied when he gathered a loose ball to score.
Just before half time Jimmy Swinden made the most of the new self pass rule to leave the defence standing and smash a reverse stick shot past the keeper.
The second half was a different game, Newcastle pushed much higher up the pitch and gave Huddersfield problems.
Jimmy Swinden did make it 3-0, but then Newcastle dragged themselves back into the game with three goals from short corners.
It could have been more but for man-of-the-match Clem Gregory, who made some excellent last ditch tackles, while Mark Swinden was strong in front of the defence until he was sin binned with 15 minutes remaining.
Dragons struck back when Simon Courtney deflected the ball past the keeper after good work from Rich Lovatt to briefly regain the lead before Newcastle smashed the ball into the roof of the net to equalise yet again at 4-4.
Finally, with only two minutes leflt, the ball came loose to Hirst who squeezed it home from close range.
Team: Howarth, Swinden (M), Hannam, Gregory, Courtney, Sugden, Pemberton, Lovatt, Kelly, Hirst, Swinden (J), Foster, Foo.
Huddersfield Dragons V 1 Acomb II 2
THIS was a very disappointing result as it was Huddersfield’s first loss of the season and against bottom club Acomb.
Huddersfield were very good for large parts of the game, scoring after prolonged pressure when Andy Swindells tapped home for a half-time lead.
Good passing between Dragons players enabled them to win 12 short corners all told but they were unable to find the net.
Opportunities for Gary Clarke and Ali Chaman were denied by a strong Acomb keeper.
Dragons’ defence played well but it was one of those days where one goal was not enough and in the last 15 minutes Acomb pressed and managed to score and then added the winner.
City of York 4
Dragons Ladies II 4
YET another excellent team performance brought Dragons’ an excellent draw.
Dragons opened the scoring with Bagshaw catching the York defence unaware. However, York quickly equalised.
The goals continued with Green proving as productive as ever up front, but York’s attack was too strong for the Dragons and at half time the visitors were trailing 3-2.
The second half brought the best out of the Seconds, and although York scored another, the Dragons were on fire with outstanding hockey from Linda Stacey, Sally Dunne and Liz Green.
Green scored her second and Middleton scored from a penalty corner which quickly made the scoreline level.
Dragons Ladies III 4 Legiolians I 0
THE Ladies Thirds scored a fourth win in four games.
They looked very strong from the start making some excellent passing moves.
The first goal cameŠfrom a short corner with Bates firing home.
Dragons continued to dominate with any Legiolian attacks quickly ended by Morroll and McCallum, and just before half time,Šafter more good runs from Bland and Hemsley down the left, Hamer received an excellently placed pass at the top of the D from Bates, and the keeper had no chance.
In the secondŠhalfŠthe visitors still could not penetrate the Dragons defence which was bolstered by the return of Gowing and Moorhouse.
Player-of-the-match Fielding made it 3-0 when BatesŠset her up with a great cross.
Dragons should have had a fourth soon after from a penalty corner, but the umpire deemed a perfectly good strike from Hamer, which hit the backboard, as dangerous. Not put off, Bailey made it four.Š
Team: Thomas, McCallum, Moorhouse, Gowing, Morroll, Bates, Bailey, Hemsley, Hamer,ŠFielding,ŠBland.