Leeds Uni 17 – 9 Leeds Beckett
Leeds University dominated Leeds Beckett from the off to clinch the first official Korfball Varsity match on Wednesday. After taking an early 5-1 lead, Uni never looked back to finish 17-9 winners after a commanding team performance with six different players getting their names on the score sheet.
Leeds Beckett managed to grab the first goal of the match to go ahead early on, in what turned out to be for the only time in the whole game. Uni responded in spectacular fashion with five unanswered goals through Rachel Muir, Captain Luke Hawthorne and Nicola Bramley. Uni were definitely looking the brighter of the two teams in the first 20 minutes after picking up a couple of penalties with some slick passing around the Beckett defence to secure the 5-1 lead. However, Beckett showed great character by staying in touching distance in the run-up to halftime, scoring a couple before Cooke got his first with a long shot and Hawthorne added his second after some quality interplay with Matt Hadfield. At the halftime whistle the 7-3 score was uncomfortably close for Uni, with everything still to play for.
Uni started the second half strongly as Hawthorne and Matt Norman combined to capitalise on lacklustre defending from Beckett, giving Norman a simple runner shot which he put away easily. Becket managed to grab one back but Uni once again asserted their dominance with another period of five unanswered goals. Muir added two more to her personal tally after easily getting away from her defender. Hawthorne then picked up his third, finishing off Evie Lilly’s tireless work around the post to help put Uni 13-4 ahead. Beckett was unable to mount any serious threat to the lead but kept the scoreboard ticking with a couple of good long shots. Nevertheless, Uni remained focused and, after some excellent link up play between Lauren Taylor and Debs Cray, Louis Harrison found some space to get a shot away and grab his first goal of the match.
With the result never really looking under any real threat, the match finally finished 17-9 to Uni, a thoroughly convincing outcome for this exciting team.
Before the match, The Gryphon spoke to Leeds University Club President Jacob Cooke about Korfball being including in Varsity for the first time: “It’s great to finally get the chance to play in Varsity, especially for a sport like Korfball which not many people have heard of. Leeds Beckett has only been playing for a couple of years but has become very competitive in a short space of time. They play a very physical game that we’re not used to so we know it’s always going to be tough against them and we’ll have to be on the top of our game from the off to get the win. Whatever the result it’s fantastic for the club to be a part of Varsity finally and have the opportunity to help Uni come out on top!”
Featured image: The Gryphon