LEEDS Uni Korfball 1s got their league campaign off to the perfect start by repeating their Varsity success over local rivals Leeds Beckett 1s last weekend. Despite not playing at the same intensity as their previous win over Beckett, the Gryphons managed to hold on for a tight 9-7 win to get up and running in Yorkshire League 1.
After comfortably beating Beckett a couple of weeks ago, the 1s knew it wouldn’t be as easy this time around with Beckett looking to seek revenge in the league. However, Uni got off to a great start after Varsity MVP Rachel Muir picked up where she left off last time around by scoring with a long shot early on. Beckett proved that they weren’t going to lie down as easily by responding well with two quick goals to take the lead. With neither team able to find any rhythm in attack, the match often found itself in a stalemate as both teams defences showed good discipline to not give away any cynical fouls. After some quality movement from the Uni attack, Niki Bramley evened the scores after finding herself unmarked near the post. Uni then took the lead through Rachael Thomas before an extremely well worked Beckett free pass allowed them to even the scores again just before half time.
The second half began perfectly for Uni as substitute Jake Cooke and Matt Norman combined well to allow the latter to put them in front with a runner. Shortly afterwards the Gryphons’ Debs Cray managed to get away from her defender to grab a goal herself with another runner for the team. Beckett refused to lose hope and moved back within one goal but Uni once again scored two unanswered goals to extend their lead to 7-4 as both Muir and Norman scored their seconds. With time running out on the clock and Uni tiring, Beckett reduced the deficient back to a single goal to leave the match open once again. Skipper Luke Hawthorne stepped up to lead by example scoring a stunning long shot to give Uni some breathing space once again before Bramley got her second, making it 9-6 with minutes remaining. The match finally finished 9-7 as Beckett scored a late consolation goal. The result is a perfect start for Leeds Uni 1s who are quietly confident of challenging for the Yorkshire League 1 title this season.
Following on from the 1s win; the 2s were up against Beckett 2s in their first match of the season in Yorkshire League 2. With no less than three new players in the squad, the 2s played outstandingly well to come from 4 goals behind twice to draw the match. The game looked as if it would be a low scoring affair with neither team able to break the deadlock in the first 15 minutes. Beckett upped the ante to take a commanding 5-1 lead with Matt Hadfield grabbing Uni’s solitary goal. Uni fought back well before half time as Hadfield and Nessa Woodhouse both scored to go in to half time 6-3 down.
After Uni started the second half strongly with a Cooke long shot, Beckett stepped it up once again to lead 8-4. Uni showed incredible character and passion to ignore the score line and fight back to 8-7 as Harriet Green, Lucy Macadam and Woodhouse, scoring her second of the match, all nabbed goals. Beckett increased their lead back to two with minutes remaining but the Gryphons never-say-die attitude was evident once again as Hadfield took his goal tally to a very impressive 4 to even the match at 9-9, seconds before the final whistle. The final result is a solid start for the 2s as they look to develop some exciting new talent and hopefully pick up some BUCS points at Nationals later this year.
Featured photo: Matthew Norman