Photos: Oona Venermo
Durham’s St. Cuthbert’s College came out on top against a stubborn Goodricke side in the second-seed hockey match on the JLD. This largely attritional College Varsity match was characterised by resolute defending as much as it was by unimaginative forward-play, as the away side were restricted to just one goal in each half to show for their efforts.
Tara Annison’s side struggled to create any meaningful chances of their own, prompting the visiting ‘keeper to spend parts of the match sitting down, even entertaining the crowds with his own rendition of the Macarena. However, where Goodricke lacked attacking inspiration, they more than made up for with spirited defending in a match where they frustrated St. Cuthbert’s throughout.
The game began evenly enough, with the hosts more than matching the Durham side in midfield. The likes of Dhyan Patel and Tom Merriman were marshalling their side with great gusto, and Goodricke were able to disrupt the flow of their more technical opponents in the opening minutes.
Very soon after, though, they fell behind as they were unable to clear a short corner which was converted on the rebound to give St. Cuthbert’s an early advantage.
Buoyed, the away side attempted to capitalise on their lead immediately, but were restricted to pot shots from the edge of the D and short corners as Goodricke’s back line stood firm.The rest of the half followed a similar pattern, and the scoreline remained unchanged going into the interval.
Goodricke certainly pressed forward with more verve in the second period, with Nick Larvin and Ben Crawley particularly industrious. The introduction of Alex McDonald added a greater sense of urgency to the midfield, and the forward was scythed down by a St. Cuthbert’s player, resulting in a sin bin for the Durham man.
St. Cuthbert’s did not let the incident deter them, however, as they rediscovered their earlier form to earn themselves a seemingly endless series of short corners as the game threatened to overwhelm Goodricke.
At last, the visitors were able to double their lead at the death, and ended any lingering hopes of an unlikely Goodricke comeback in the process. Goodricke will take much comfort in the fact that they kept their opponents at bay for so long, and will be proud of conceding fewer goals than the six which James College leaked against Hatfield.
Captain Tara Annison told Vision: “It was a valiant effort by the team, we held our own for a lot of the game and we’ll certainly build on today’s experience.”